- The Guardian
- Issue #2024
Thank you Franc Stregone for an excellent article (Guardian #2020 22nd August 2022) which captured well the diverse opinions among our First Nations people about the ALP Prime Ministers proposal for a referendum being put to the Australian people about an Indigenous Voice to the Australian people to be contained somewhere in the Australian Constitution.
I agree with NT politician Yingiya Mark Guyula, a Yolgnu elder, who said it was “hopeless,” “not good enough,” and “not what we wanted.” The Greens and many Aboriginal people, especially those who took part in the Makarrata at Uluru in 2017, also have concerns about what Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has put on offer. There are those progressive forces who say a Treaty is more urgent and more necessary and arguably the referendum to amend the Australian Constitution to include an Indigenous Voice to parliament is a distraction and a delaying tactic to achieve real and more meaningful change for our First Nations People.
The Australian Constitution is another institution that is broken, does not serve the Australian people, beyond repair and needs to be totally redone from top to bottom to make it fit for purpose for an Australia of the 21st Century. Only then can it begin to undertake the more the lofty ambitions which people wish to ascribe to it. At present, retaining or tinkering with this relic from the late 19th Century will only serve the capitalist classes who continue to do so well from it and reactionaries who wish to cling to outdated and oppressive social, political, and economic norms.
A referendum should not be seen as the only course of action at this time, a good thing and a forgone conclusion.