As an elected independent councilor who plays a role in local politics, I am frustrated by the politicization of the referendum, which has led to distorted facts, scare campaigns, divisive narratives, and disruptions. This situation does not help migrant communities, who now feel more disconnected and unsure of this debate.
So, here’s my message to other first-generation migrants like me: As non-Aboriginal people, we have nothing to lose from this constitutional change. It is about recognizing the importance of First Nations people and their rightful place in the nation’s history.
Also, the issue here (contrary to some narratives) is not about promoting one race as superior to another. Instead, it revolves around recognizing the unique identity and indigeneity of First Nations people.
To be well informed, sufficient information about how the Voice advisory body will work is readily available. More details will follow the parliamentary legislative process, where parliament will decide on the Voice model.
It is also important to note that indigenous communities are not homogeneous. Like all communities, including the ones we visit, they also differ in many ways. While some Indigenous Australians may not support the Voice, the vast majority do, as shown by the 80 per cent Indigenous representation in the Uluru Statement.
For me, wearing all the different community and personal hats, choosing to support the referendum is about being on the right side of history and addressing a moral question that resonates with the heart and mind, leading me with a resounding Yes vote.
Seema Abdullah is Australia’s first Muslim migrant female councilor and the former mayor of Greater Shepparton.
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