Professor Lynore Gaia responds to Fair Australia
What follows is a heartfelt message from Professor Lynore Gaia, a First Nations Ambassador at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture in Canberra and Professor of Nursing at James Cook University. ‘No’ may have the current momentum, but that is because we have been seduced by the basest of emotions – fear, and have been deceived by wilful disinformation. The truth lies where Lynore’s heart leads us. Listen to what she has to say.
“I’m stepping out in my vulnerability and saying what is on my heart - hoping my words reaches your heart. I have not said a lot about the upcoming Referendum on the Voice to Parliament. But I saw this just now and want to respond, and this is a long post. But please take the time to read and reflect.
If you are not sure of what the Voice is, then the way to get informed is to do your research so that you are informed. We don’t need to see all the structure of the legislation, that is the job of Parliament when Yes is given when we sit at the table together and begin the dialogue of how it will be.
I am voting YES because of the following dot points;
1. Yes - From my Christian faith - for me, the Voice is about God making a way in our nation to come together for the much-needed work of justice and healing of the people and the land, for a better way for this nation. What does God require of us - Micah 6:8 “What does the Lord require to act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”.
Christian family and friends lift your eyes up to God and ask what is God’s thinking and purpose in all of this? Use your heart through prayer as you inform yourself to decide and not rely on the head knowledge of others that say what you have to do. Don’t let doubt and fear lead you, but let faith lead you.
2. Yes - from a health professional perspective. I am coming up to 50 years of being in the Australian nursing and midwifery profession. The gap in Indigenous health is not getting better, in fact it is getting worse. Having a Voice enshrined in the constitution makes a way for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have a seat at the table where law makers make laws and programs for us. A Yes from Australia means we can and will be part of the development of solutions bringing our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and skills to the highest level of government where law makers and program development can be informed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We see our problems and we want to be genuinely included in finding the solution through partnership and respect.
3. Yes - from my personal Bwgcolman perspective, as an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander woman from Palm Island. I was born in a community that was established by the Qld Government as a prison settlement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Our ‘Old People’ always talked about justice and building a life for us, they fought for their voices to be heard by government over the generations to be given a ‘fair go’ by government, to have self-determination and to live with dignity making a better life for our community and the generations to come. I want the same for my community and grandchildren who will grow up on Palm Island.
4. Yes - If you are a new Australian that has made this nation your home, then please know you are welcome to share this land with the oldest nations of First Australians - I ask that you reflect on your lived experience of why you have come to a better place for you and your family? Vote Yes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be acknowledged in the Australian Constitution and the Voice to enshrined, so that we can have a say in making Australia a better place for First Peoples, for me and my family - which also means a better place for all Australians.
5. Vote Yes, because it is the right thing and fair thing to do to bring healing to Australia that is so needed for us all. Vote Yes, because it is the right thing to restore dignity to a people group who have had dignity stripped from our lives since 1788. Vote Yes, to give me and my people a Voice to speak to government about our heart and knowledge. Our collective voice was made silent and taken away from us making us a people of ‘Vox nullius’ (no voice) in 1788 - Vote Yes, to overturn that … just like ‘terra nullius’ was overturned, and the law now says we Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were here and living our lives before the First Fleet landed. Vote Yes so that the law can say, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were here first living our lives and we had a strong voice as well, a whole people - let our voices be heard again!
Finally, we stand on the precipice of great change for Australia - a time where we can all experience fairness and celebrate our rich diversity of cultures living on this land. Will you take up the invitation to walk with us, … with me, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman with all my hopes and dreams for my people in this country. Will you partner with us for “A better Australia’
… Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Amos 5:24
Even if you don’t know all the facts say YES ! … step out in faith for justice and hope, trust your heart to make a way to build together and not be separated by the fear and doubt.
Give Mob … Give me and my Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mob a fair go on October 14th. #voteyes #VoiceToParliament #Yes #HeartIssue.”