Voice to Parliament information

Are you confused about The Voice to Parliament?

Posted by Bronwyn Newnham on

When our children were in primary school John and I decided to take 6 months off everything, and we rented our house to friends, bought a creaky old caravan, packed up our cossies, and went out to explore the land of Aus. I absolutely loved it, and wanted to go on journeying forever. I found it amazing just how many different cultures and interesting people live in our big nation, and outside of the big cities, who find happiness outside the intense rush that we all live and work within in Melbourne.

We had an absolutely pivotal experience in Alice Springs. A magical experience that stays in our memory with joy.

Before we left, John organised to do some work on a roof at a boarding school in Alice. We arrived after dark, and set up our van in the grounds of the school. Around three thirty in the afternoon children began arriving at our van, cheeky, intelligent and beautiful Indigenous children, who came into our van with huge smiles, instantly befriended my three girls and took them out to play. I would sit with a cool drink and watch my girls shout and laugh and run and play. They would be running around the school grounds with all the kids, for hours and hours, until finally it was too dark to stay out. Even then, my girls wanted to go out and play in the dark with the crowd of kids and some torches. 

We were from Melbourne, and it was so hot! The pool, however, had a big lock on it, and a sign that said: "Closed for Winter". After a busy day working on a tin roof, my hot tired husband went and got the key and dived in, thinking he was going to cool off in a quiet pool, but as soon as he entered the water he had Indigenous children jumping in for some fun, diving off his shoulders, and swimming around him as if he was an island in the middle of the pool. He loved it. Wherever these children went there was joy and laughter and fun. All of the children seemed to know how to enjoy themselves without needing much supervision, or a ton of toys. 

In the last few weeks I have been feeling so responsible to make a good decision in the Voice Referendum. Voices from the side line are yelling different instructions at me, and they are all very convincing and confusing. 

Those children in Alice Springs, like my girls, will be adults now. When I think of the referendum, I think of them, and wonder where they all are, and what they are doing, and I think they would like the right to have some real authority over their own communities, and any government policy that affects their own lives, and the lives of their families, just as we would expect in our own communities.

Over the next few weeks we will be writing about the Voice to Parliament, and giving you resources to seek information.

The first beautiful informative session is from an ABC TV series available on abc iview. In 'Kitchen Cabinet' (Series 7: Episode 3), Annabel Crab interviews Linda Burney. Linda is an Indigenous Labour Party Senator who supports the Voice to Parliament, her story is a story of courage, strength and a real hope for change.  I hope you find it helpful.

In friendship,

Bron 

Bron Indigenous Australians The Voice

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