Saturday Magazine

28 Oct 2023

Saturday 28th, October, 2023: Josh Burns MP, McNamara and Misha Ketchell, Editor the Conversation.

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Saturday 28th, October, 2023: Josh Burns MP, McNamara and Misha Ketchell, Editor the Conversation.

Macca and Fiona are joined live in the studio by Josh Burns MP, McNamara and Misha Ketchell, Editor the Conversation, as they break down the Voice to parliament referendum.

Some of the questions raised in this conversation:

                                                          Voice response
Indigenous groups who supported the Voice campaign ended their week of
silence, accusing Australians who voted “No” of committing “a shameful act
whether knowingly or not, and there is nothing positive to be interpreted
from it”.

● In an open letter to the prime minister issued on Sunday evening, the groups said “that people who came to our country in only the last 235
years would reject the recognition of this continent’s First Peoples — on our sacred land which we have cared for and nurtured for more
than 65,000 years — is so appalling and mean-spirited as to be utterly unbelievable”

● The letter attributed the historic referendum loss to a lack of bipartisan support, as well as “lies in political advertisement and
communication” and racism

● “The proposal was tracking 60% support compared to 40% opposition for several years until the National and Liberal parties
preferred wanton political damage over support for some of this country’s most disadvantaged people,” the letter added (The

● Some Aboriginal leaders are understood to have distanced themselves from an earlier draft of the statement, circulated among
about 50 Indigenous people and organisations, and did not want their names associated with it (SMH)

● The official statement moderates the criticisms of that draft version, removing sections accusing Indigenous “No” leaders Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, Senator                                                              Kerrynne Liddle and Nyunggai Warren,  Mundine of being “front people for three right-wing organisations”, along with criticism of News Corp (The Age)
● Also removed was praise for Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s “gallantry” in defeat as well as criticism for his failure to blame “No”voters
● There was little reflection on where the “Yes” campaign could have done better, amid separate revelations some within Labor thought “it was chaotically organised, its                                                  messaging verbose and imprecise, that it too often appealed to the converted” (The Saturday Paper)
● Leading “Yes” campaigner Thomas Mayo has tried to glean some positives, arguing that “though the referendum failed, the movement
for Indigenous rights and recognition has grown” (The Saturday Paper).

● But results maps very well to the result of the republic referendum in 1999
● Strong correlation between education/wealth and propensity to vote Yes
● Do we need to improve civics education?
● Is meaningful or progressive change possible in our system?