The Indigenous Australian “Voice” Soon to Echo in the Country’s Parliament

Ken Wyatt

Australia is a nation of many “voices”. It can no more separate it self from the diversity of its existence nor can it shy away from recognizing every sound uttered in the wind. Before being what it today is, the land was haven to the indigenous Aboriginal people, different origins, scattered dialects, varied cultural connotations but the same people. They continue to fight in mainstream politics to be heard. Not for emancipation but what comes after, complete acceptance. Known as the “first people” of Australia, the indigenous Australians have been winning a few battles to be included and still fighting some. According to a new report, Australians will have the chance to vote on changing the constitution to recognize the nation’s first peoples within the next three years.

This however, will need time and careful consideration and drafting says Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt, stressing that, “Constitutional recognition is too important to get wrong, and too important to rush”.

With the nation still struggling to recognize them, introducing such a referendum with much premeditation could have the opposite effect. When this is introduced, majority of Australia, states and territories must support the model. The minister is also committed to bringing about an indigenous voice to parliament, working alongside state and territory ministers.

Ken Wyatt became the first Aboriginal person to have ministerial stewardship of indigenous affairs, a big step in the right direction. He opines that it is time that the indigenous people get actively involved in the government and policy making, which affects them too. The Perth Minister is using the 1967 referendum as an example of how this movement can be shaped. The referendum was a catalyst for change, which brought the people to the fore giving them a distinct identity as the oldest living heritage of the country.