Greek Australians share their views on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament

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Australians are currently preparing to vote on October 14 in the referendum on an Indigenous Voice to the Federal Parliament.

On the day, Australians will be asked to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the following question: “A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Do you approve this change?”

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.

According to the latest Guardian Essential poll, whilst there has been a positive shift towards the ‘yes’ vote in several months with 43 per cent of respondents, the ‘no’ vote remains ahead with 49 per cent.

With this in mind, The Greek Herald asked Greek Australians around the nation to express their thoughts on the Indigenous Voice and what they will be voting.

Kris Pavlidis:

Kris Pavlidis.

What are your thoughts on the Voice to Parliament? 

“It is a one-off opportunity to do the right thing,” Kris said.

“The Australian Constitution should acknowledge the Australian Aborigines.

“Any matter which directly affects Aboriginal education, health and their lives should be decided by our government, in consultation with Aboriginal people this is what The Voice to Parliament means.”

What will you be voting and what has influenced this decision?

“I will vote ‘YES’… this is based on my values for justice, inclusivity and equity,” Kris said.

“I’m guided by the principles of societal cohesion and harmony and as a parent of two children and as a responsible citizen, I regard this as an inherent duty. 

“We need to change the way we live and work with Aboriginal communities because whatever’s been done to date has consumed large injection of money and resources and it isn’t working.

“It’s not complex… Aboriginal people suffer far more disadvantage than any other large group of people and have done so for far too long now, so this story needs to change.”

Ellie Stamatelatos:

What are your thoughts on the Voice to Parliament? 

“I believe the Voice to Parliament provides a unique and generous opportunity for Australians to walk together into a more prosperous future,” Ellie said.

“To think that in 2023 we are arguing over whether or not to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in our Constitution and by extension, create a space for them to be properly heard and consulted on the issues that directly affect them, astounds me.”

What will you be voting and what has influenced this decision? 

“I will be voting ‘Yes’ because more of the same isn’t good enough,” she said.

“I think it’s pretty obvious to any fair-minded person that the status quo isn’t working – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians face chronic ill-health, poverty, homelessness, unemployment, unsafe and unstable living environments and alarming over-representation in correctional facilities.

“I really don’t see how enabling them to advise and consult with the decision-makers responsible for improving their circumstances is detrimental to the rest of Australia.”

Ellie said it was a shame that what should be such a unifying moment in Australia’s history has become so divisive.

“I do worry about what 15 October will look like and only hope that, in the event of a ‘No,’ First Nations Australians are not forgotten and we are able to come together to find other ways to significantly improve their circumstances,” she said.

Cassandra Helen Harding:

What are your thoughts on the Voice to Parliament? 

“I know without question or doubt that it [The Voice] is an extreme fanatical governmental left wing WOKE propaganda that alleges to be speaking for and on behalf of all indigenous Australians and using high tech marketing, claiming it to be from the heart and voice of Uluru, which I know for a fact is not true at all,” Cassandra, a 51-year-old Greek Australian woman born-and-raised in the Northern Territory, said.

“It is a divisive referendum that will allow for all the communities lose their sovereignty and the rights over their own lands. 

“If anyone wanted to disbelieve this, they only need to go out to these communities themselves and speak to the elders who are the real voice and are speaking from the heart when they say NO.”

 What will you be voting and what has influenced this decision?

“Having lived in Indigenous communities for close to 10 years… and seeing first-hand how disadvantaged they are… I am voting ‘NO’,” Cassandra, who’s father was a Senior Sergeant in the NT Police Force, said.

“I support the elders and the present communities in this decision.”

Athanacia V: 

What are your thoughts on the Voice to Parliament? 

“I don’t presume to talk on behalf of First Nations people, however I do feel it’s important to speak in support, as an ally,” Athanacia said.

“The referendum asks us to support an alteration to our Constitution that recognises the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament.

“It is to establish an advisory body to provide advice to government on matters affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, independent of party politics.”

What will you be voting and what has influenced this decision?

“I’m voting ‘yes’ in support of the 83 per cent of First Nations people who do want a Voice to Parliament (Source: YouGov),” Athanacia said.

“I’m voting ‘yes’ because I believe this is an opportunity for Australia to move forward as a nation. 

“I urge everyone to cut through all the divisive information and inform themselves by reading the information at voice.gov.au.”

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