“This is the biggest opportunity we’ll have in our lifetime to effect Reconciliation,” says Carla Rogers, co-Author of Practical Reconciliation with Aboriginal Elder, Aunty Munya Andrews.
Up until this point, the co-Authors and co-Directors of Evolve Communities, a trusted authority for cultural awareness and Ally training, have focused on providing information about The Voice Referendum.
“When people would ask me how they should vote, I’d tell them to vote with their conscience”, says Aunty Munya.
“Through our programs, we have aimed to increase people’s confidence in making an informed decision that aligns with their values; and to be more comfortable in having the hard yarn – which talking about the Voice can be. We’re educators, not activists”, explains Carla, who is non-Indigenous. “Our work is all about teaching people about Indigenous culture, the impact of our shared history, and providing safe spaces for people to ask questions without any fear of shame or blame. Ultimately we want people to reflect, reach their own conclusions and feel inspired to become Allies.”
So what’s changed, why has Evolve Communities decided to make this stand now, in support of The Voice?
“Well we’ve always supported The Voice, we just didn’t see it as our role to tell people how to vote,” explains Carla. “Our response to ‘If you don’t know, vote no’ was to say ‘If you don’t know, find out!’ So we’ve been providing unbiased information through our educational webinars and media coverage, like this Mamamia! article.”
“Unfortunately the politicians have done what they do best and made a simple act of recognition and inclusion sound complicated and threatening,” explains Aunty Munya.
“There is now so much misinformation circulating, including the idea that Indigenous people don’t support The Voice (recent polls, which have been fact checked, show that most Indigenous people do support it), the Voice is legally risky (leading Constitutional experts have shown this to be false), that a successful Yes vote would result in First Nations peoples ceding sovereignty (also proven false by legal experts), and that The Voice will empower us to take back land (it definitely won’t)!”
“With the Referendum so close, and many people telling us they are still confused, it’s time for us to be clear,” says Aunty Munya. “If you care about improving the lives of First Nations people, and creating a fairer, more advanced Australia, we need you to vote yes.”
“As an organisation, Evolve supports The Voice. As an Ally, I support The Voice,” says Carla. “And if others want to know what they can do to be Allies on October 14th, the answer is simple, vote yes.”
Evolve Communities is Australia’s trusted authority for Indigenous cultural awareness and Ally training. Led by Aboriginal Elder, Barrister and Author, Aunty Munya Andrews and non-Indigneous Community Engagement Specialist, Churchill Fellow and Ally, Carla Rogers. Their goal is to inspire ten million Allies to create a kinder, more inclusive Australia.