Two days of reflection after the outcomes of The Voice Referendum and there is still a level of anxiety in the pit of my stomach, a sense of disbelief that so many Australians seem concerned not for the needs and welfare of others, but what they fear they will personally lose.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe we are all entitled to our opinions and whichever way you voted, I hope you did with true intent, understanding and were not swayed by fear, misinformation, bigotry or racism perpetuated about the Campaign and throughout the media.
As an Aboriginal woman, I know racism in its many forms is with us everyday. It’s often something that bubbles just under the surface, in the little things people say or do. Sadly, the Referendum has provided an acceptable opportunity for many people to show blatant racism in their thoughts and absolute ignorance in their understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Cultures.
The outcome of the Referendum is one thing, but what has been left in the wake is an aftermath that will be felt for a long time to come. I recognise this as a time of mourning, a time of sadness for many. An overwhelming number of the Australian population have voted and believe despite the gap in health, income and educational outcomes there is no place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to have a voice and self determination.
To the many who have shown support over this time, sending a heartfelt thank you. Your support is not forgotten and I’m sure it will be needed again in the future. For those who are feeling lost and down, remember the strength of our Ancestors, tomorrow is another day and the battle for recognition to speak for ourselves and be heard by others continues.
If you need support please make sure you are talking to family or friends. You could also contact one of the following:
13YARN | 13 92 76
https://www.emhprac.org.au/directory/brother-to-brother-crisis-line | 1800 435 799
Lifeline | 13 11 14
Lifeline Suicide Call Back Service | 1300 659 467
Beyond Blue | 1300 22 4636
Online & phone support | headspace