The Guardian • Issue #2071

Waving for the Voice

  • by Che Janz
  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2071

Queensland: on 16th September, fellow Sunshine Coast Branch member and frequent Guardian writer Graham Holton and I embarked on a series of unorthodox but effective and pungent methods of raising awareness for the Yes Campaign in Queensland’s Woombye-Nambour area.

Our first stop was  Woombye Memorial Park, situated directly across the road from both the Woombye pub and train station. Tying our banner to the fence post, we stood greeting the small but constant traffic. We got a lot of looks, with people slowing down to read our message of support for the voice. Woombye is a small town, with a conservative vibe, but our presence might help people realise that they have an alternative regarding the Voice.

Next on our list was the Big Pineapple, the iconic tourist attraction that is the Sunshine Coast’s answer to the Sydney Opera house. This being our second time campaigning there (see Guardian Issue #2066), we tied the banner to the railings of a walk bridge and hung various indigenous flags from the railings. Almost immediately with the traffic passing below we heard positive car/truck honks. Witnessing the engagement from traffic gave me some inspiration.

We drove to Nambour, parking by the welcoming sign outside the town limits and displayed the Yes Banner diagonally facing oncoming traffic from the side with us holding and waving to them with nothing but a smile on our faces. Immediately we got community engagement ranging from people waving back at us, car horns making cheerful tootings at us, thumbs up from drivers, headlights flashing and cheers of encouragement. I was somewhat taken aback from the overwhelmingly positive reception. Politically the Sunshine Coast is known to be an LNP-dominated quagmire with the No campaigner fear-mongering very apparent. I witnessed with my own eyes that there always will be a sub-sect of people who are conscious and educated to be on the right side of history.

In these closing weeks leading to the referendum it is my hope that this positivity is not a minority. On the day of our action I don’t recall a single openly negative reaction in any of the locations we went to. Regardless if No wins in Queensland or the entire country, I see that our presence is valued, expanding and already has reached a larger core of progressives in the area than we thought possible.

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