On Saturday, Australians have the opportunity to cast a powerful vote for the future of our country and if you are one of the undecided voters, I would love for you to vote yes. But at the very least I would like you to take some more time to read and consider the case for yes before you vote.

We are so lucky in Australia that we have the freedom to vote with no fear. So much so that we tend to be complacent or worse, apathetic.

Before you vote on Saturday read The Uluru Statement from The Heart. No demands – a generous request for Australians to walk together to a better future with love and compassion.

There has been so much fear in the no case campaign but urge the undecided to consider the following:

• In 2017, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates signed the Uluru Statement from the Heart, a petition calling on the Australian government to implement “Voice, Treaty and Truth”.

• The “Voice” refers to a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament, an advisory body to government on policies and laws that impact the lives of Indigenous Australians. Constitutionally enshrining the Voice would provide recognition to Indigenous people and fill a gap in the Australian Constitution (Prof Anne Twomey). The purpose of the Voice is to allow Aboriginal voices to be consulted on matters that affect them.

• If the Referendum is passed, it will be up to Parliament to determine how The Voice will operate.

• The Voice to Parliament will not have any veto or judiciary powers and will not be a third chamber. The Australian Parliament will still have control over decision making. (Professor Tom Calma). While the referendum will establish the Voice, the Australian parliament will still need to legislate the structure of how the body will operate. The referendum will enshrine the process but not the substance of the Voice to Parliament (Associate Professor Ron Levy)

• The Referendum Working Group has agreed broad and inclusive consultation with First Nations peoples and communities is critical to ensure the final Voice model reflects the views of First Nations communities.

You have a chance to make a difference and all it requires is writing three letters on Saturday – yes.

Rebecca Ryan, Gunnedah

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