Greek contingent join Melbourne rally in support of Indigenous Voice to Parliament

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A group of Greek Australians gathered on Sunday morning in front of the Victorian Trades Hall in Carlton, Melbourne to publicly express their support for Indigenous recognition through a Voice to Australia’s Parliament.

Constitutional recognition through a Voice to Parliament would enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to provide advice to the Parliament on policies and projects that impact their lives.

Supporters

Sunday’s event was part of a nationwide mobilisation of the ‘Yes’ campaign and saw people from different ethnic communities come together to show their will to vote “yes” in an upcoming referendum aimed at enshrining an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

This comes despite a recent poll conducted by The Australian which showed the referendum was on a path to possible defeat, with the “Yes” vote falling three points to a new low of just 43 per cent, and the “No” vote rising to 47 per cent.

‘Time to right the wrongs’:

With this in mind, The Greek Herald attended the Victorian rally to hear what people in the ‘Yes’ camp had to say.

At the event, there was kids’ entertainment, Greek street food and performances. Wurundjeri elder, Uncle Ringo Terrick, gave a welcome address and called for unity.

Mr Theo Markos

Also present were Yorta Yorta man Ian Hamm, Australian Council of Trade Unions President Michele O’Neil, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation boss Aunty Jill Gallagher, and musicians Scott Darlow and Robert K Champion.

At the front entrance of the hall, a group of Greek Australians gathered with raised banners in support of the Indigenous Voice.

The Greek’s banner was placed in the middle

The former Vice President of the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) Theo Markos spoke to The Greek Herald on the day about the importance of the gathering.

“As Greek Australians, I think is really important to take part in the conversation and that we encourage people to support the ‘yes’ vote in the upcoming referendum…” Mr Markos said.

Speeches

Mr Markos added that it was a “tragedy” Indigenous people “have not been recognised in the constitution.”

“I think that this is the first step towards the true recognition and acceptance of the reality of this Australian society,” he said.

“There is also the acceptance and the adoption of the Uluru Statement From The Heart. It’s a statement that talks about voice, truth and treaty. I think that this [referendum] is the first of these three steps.”

Vasso Zangalis was also at the rally, with her two kids and her mother Cavell. They were all holding posters in support of the Voice.

“It is a great honour for us that we are here today to vote ‘yes’,” Vasso told The Greek Herald.

“Let’s not forget that Greeks when they first came to Australia, they had no rights, and through fighting and creation we won many things. Now it is our turn to help others. I will happily vote ‘yes’ to have a better society and to live in a more fair world.”

Vasso’s mother added that she’s happy to come out and support the ‘Yes’ campaign.

“It’s very important to me that my children and my grandchildren will know and will contribute to the righting of wrongs in Australian history and vote ‘yes’.”

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