Four local First Nations organisations are calling for respect towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in the lead up to the 2023 referendum on the Voice to Parliament.
In recent weeks, members of our local community have been subject to verbal racist attacks.
Disrespectful public commentary and abuse have a detrimental impact on the social and emotional wellbeing and safety of our community members.
We write this statement jointly as Aboriginal leaders, to ask our non-Aboriginal friends and broader public to join with us in helping to ensure the safety of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members.
You have the power to ensure racial violence under the guise of political and social debate is not tolerated.
Please walk with us to ensure our community remains safe:
– calmly call out behaviour and words against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
– ensure your conversations are respectful and informed
– remember these discussions are about the rights, wellbeing and future of our Elders and families.
Dallas Widdicombe – Dharug – Bendigo District Aboriginal Cooperative CEO
Rodney Carter – Dja Dja Wurrung and Yorta Yorta – Dja Dja Wurrung Group CEO
Narlinga Morgan – Yorta Yorta – Co-Chair Bendigo NAIDOC Week Committee
Nicola Perry – Ngarrindjeri – Co-Chair Reconciliation Committee