The Western Australian Council of Social Service, in collaboration with 23 community service organisations and Wildlings Creative Agency, is pleased to announce the launch of the Understanding My Voice Campaign today, as part of its commitment to advocating for a ‘Yes’ vote in the Voice to Parliament referendum.
Through the jointly funded initiative, WACOSS has led the creation of a series of radio and online advertisements voiced by First Nations people, who each deliver an important message in support of the YES campaign in Noongar language. These messages can only be translated by following the prompts given at the end of the advertisements to the WACOSS website where the viewer is asked to ‘join their Voice to ours.’
The campaign was proud to have Jarred Wall, Uncle Patrick, Aunty Donna and Kiesha record messages in Noongar.
Mr Wall is a proud First Nations person and advocate of Noongar heritage and ties to Wadarndi Bibbulman Region in WA’s South West, and lives on Whadjuk country. Mr Wall is also a versatile cross-genre artist, primarily as singer-songwriter/producer ‘Boox Kid’. Mr Wall has also performed as one of the leads in Noongar opera Koolbardi wer Wardong – Magpie and Crow.
Commenting on the Understanding My Voice Campaign, Mr Wall said:
“I wanted to share my voice as for me, speaking language is a demonstration on how beautiful and strong our culture is. As the Uluru Statement reflects, our culture will be a gift to this country. I strongly agree. This is one of the many ways I feel I can contribute, spreading the word on how important this is and why I am voting yes.
“I’m voting yes as it is step in the right direction. It is a mechanism for Treaty and Truth. A Voice that cannot be removed, that lasts beyond the term of a Government, and has the potential to do great things. My mum was stolen, and I want to see this occur in her lifetime.”
WACOSS Chief Executive Officer Louise Giolitto said:
“WACOSS has a vision for an inclusive, just and equitable society. We drive social change with communities and through collective action.
“This campaign is a joint initiative between 23 community service organisations which have been walking alongside First Nations peoples for many years in their journey towards reconciliation.
“A Voice to Parliament is what the vast majority of First Nations peoples want, and it’s what our sector knows is needed.
“We support a Voice to Parliament because it is the right thing to do, because it’s our sector’s purpose to support communities who have been left behind, but ultimately because it’s the very least we can do.”
WACOSS President Mark Glasson said:
“Just two weeks from now, Australians will head to polling stations across the country to vote on the inclusion of a Voice to Parliament in the Australian constitution.
“At times it feels like we’re a long way from where we started – the generous invitation to walk together towards a better future for all Australians, contained within the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
“The campaigning, politicking, media coverage, and public discussion has been intense, passionate, heated, and at times, ugly, and as a sector we can be hesitant to jump into such an intense public debate.
“However, with the work we do, the people we serve, and the purpose we all share – none of us can conscionably remain on the fence. If we are genuine about supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged people to live their best lives, then we have to support a Voice to Parliament.
“In the fight for a Voice to Parliament, neutrality is a no. Silence is a no.”
The ad campaign, developed pro bono by Wildlings, aims to dispel the myth that First Nations people don’t support The Voice. Two different polls have shown 80-83 per cent of First Nations people are in support of a Voice to Parliament.
The campaign can be viewed here: https://www.wacoss.org.au/voice/
Please hear the voice of these local First Nations peoples, and join us in voting YES to The Voice on October 14.