marcia langton for the indigenous voice

Speaking in a real Voice

Friday 15 September 2023 2:40 PM

I’ve just caught up on Professor Marcia Langton’s National Press Club (NPC) address of 8 days ago on the Voice Referendum, commending the “Yes” case. I highly recommend that you take an hour of your life to do the same. Having missed this address at the time, it served very finely to restore my focus on the soundness of the Voice as a way forward for a united and reconciled Australia, after hearing live Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price’s equivalent address yesterday, urging a “No” vote.

In my assessment, whilst the latter address was not lacking in articulation, passion or emotion, it was gravely short on fact and evidence. It was all of what the Senator has excelled in, in leading the “No” campaign. Though containing some documentary content and anecdote, its foundation was fear, half-truth, innuendo, and conspiracy theory. The culture war at its best / worst. The Senator went so far as to argue in as many words that there is no ongoing disadvantage to the indigenous community as a result of colonisation.

If you’re concerned that the Voice as proposed lacks detail or substance and/or leaves too much hidden or unsaid, then please listen to Professor Langton. If you care about evidence and value history as a window to the present and future, Professor Langton deserves your attention. You will hear a voice of considered wisdom and insight, drawing on years of hands-on involvement in the design of the proposed Voice, as well as decades of research and writing on the nature and remediation of indigenous disadvantage, commonly known as “the gap”.

The Voice is not a Trojan horse for anything. It is the fruit of decades of consultation and thought, culminating in a gracious invitation from Indigenous Australians to the other 97% of citizens to walk with them toward a future of unity and hope. Misinformation has already compromised our response to climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic. Voting “Yes” to an indigenous Voice to Parliament, enshrined in the Constitution, will prevent it from perpetuating disadvantage for our First Peoples.