Greek Indigenous Australian Helen Secretary rejects PM’s claims on the Voice

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Greek Indigenous senior Northern Territory leader, Helen Secretary, has publicly rejected Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s claim that 80 per cent of Aboriginal-Australians support the Voice.

Ms Secretary, whose father was a Greek immigrant, is the Gwalwa Dariniki Association chair of the small coastal Kulaluk community in Darwin. She believes the Voice referendum will “divide the nation” and it would be impossible for a national Voice to represent hundreds of different clan groups.

In an interview with Sky News, Ms Secretary said, “We should be a proud country, a multicultural country and be proud as Australians, not divide.”

“We already have senators and Indigenous parliamentarians from the Territory that have been sitting in Parliament that are supposed to be our voice.”

The Gwalwa Dariniki Association chairwoman says most Aboriginal people from the NT know little about the Voice to Parliament and are unlikely to support the ‘Yes’ vote.

The Association has made positive changes of their own in the Kulaluk community. In 1972, the organisation drafted the Larrakia petition for a crown lease in perpetuity over the Kulaluk and Minmarama communities in Darwin’s northern suburbs. Northern Territory Chief Minister, Paul Everingham, later granted the crown lease in 1979.

“We have created housing, nursing home and licence interest on our land to move forward instead of asking for government handouts,” Ms Secretary reports, explaining why she will be voting No in the referendum.

Helen Secretary. Photo: NT News.

Ms Secretary says it would be impossible for a national Voice to represent hundreds of different clan groups, as no one tribe could speak for another.

Rejecting Albanese’s claims that 80 per cent of Aboriginal-Australians support the Yes Voice, Ms Secretary said “That’s their views but I can tell you a majority of Indigenous people (don’t support it) and that’s why they don’t really want to include the Northern Territory, because a lot of them don’t understand this and they are continuing to ask for a Treaty.”

“Why should we have a voice that’s in parliament, a new voice, with this referendum to say ‘this is what all Indigenous people want because they’re disadvantaged—well we’re not.”

“I think it’s wrong.”

Leaders who advocate for a Treaty, including Independent Senator Lidia Thorpe, want to see reparations paid, but Ms Secretary said she is not interested in financial compensation.

“My kids work for their money,” she said. “They don’t say because I’m Indigenous I want rent, I want compensation. We work for our money.”

The land rights pioneer proclaims if the Federal Government wants a voice, “talk to the different tribes that live on country on what their dreams [are] of creating economic development, work with them, give them a Treaty.”

“They are their own voice. We are our own voice.”

Read more: Yes or No: Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum pamphlets released

Source: Sky News

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