Activist group GetUp is backing the ‘yes’ vote in the upcoming national referendum on an Indigenous voice to parliament.
“We’re really in a historic moment,” GetUp’s First Nations justice campaign director Amy Gordon said.
“And it’s not just because we’re going to a referendum but because this is a moment where the whole country is talking about First Nations justice and this is a really incredible opportunity to build momentum.
“Our aim is to create space for long-term First Nations justice and that includes treaties, truth telling and land rights.
“We really see this referendum being a stop along the journey and not the final destination.”
GetUp, a progressive left leaning advocacy group, will launch its #WriteYes campaign in Cairns on Sunday and hold a similar event in Alice Springs on Wednesday.
“This referendum isn’t going to fix all of the issues in our communities,” Ms Gordon said.
“It won’t stop deaths in custody but what it will do is show our political parties, our government, that there is huge momentum across Australia to actually be listening to First Nations people on these issues and being building momentum towards that justice.”
GetUp is also encouraging people to enrol to vote and do whatever they can to combat misinformation about the voice.
They’re warning voters that they will need to actually write ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when they vote, not just tick a box.
“What we are doing is trying to tell stories of strength from our communities,” Ms Gordon said.
“And the stories that our communities want to be telling about all of the incredible things that they’re doing.
“And then at the same time, we’re also standing and calling that hate out because it’s unacceptable – and we’re not letting that slide.”
Ms Gordon believes a successful referendum will have positive impacts across Indigenous communities.
“But losing it will set us back decades,” she said.
“Governments need to be listening to the voices of First Nations people and delivering on policies that are creating meaningful outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“And to be creating a mandate for treaties and truth telling and ending deaths in custody and all of the issues that our communities have been fighting for.
“We’re trying to create that momentum to push for more in this moment.”
GetUp will launch its #WriteYes campaign at the North Cairns Tigers Sports Club at 1pm on Sunday.