Call for unity after Indigenous Voice referendum

Call for unity

A call for unity has been made following Australians voting against a proposal to amend the constitution, thus denying First Nations people an advisory body for the government.

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge has issued a reflection, published by The Catholic Leader, saying to Australians “It’s time to look forward rather than look back.

“There’s an urgent need now to create a new kind of national unity, and that can’t be left to the politicians because there’s more to this than politics” Coleridge wrote.

The final vote on “The Voice” was 60 percent against the proposal. All six Australian states rejected the plan.

Bishop Charles Gauci, chair of the Bishops Commission for Relations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, commented, “Voters rejecting a referendum to give greater political rights to Indigenous people in Australia doesn’t mean we accept the status quo.”

Gauci said many Australians “will be glad” to see the campaign has come to an end.

“For our nation though this should be seen as a time for a new beginning” the bishop reflected.

Australia is home to just under a million Indigenous Australians, and a great number of those face disparities in health, education and opportunities in a nation of nearly 27 million people.

Moment of disagreement

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also made a call for unity in the face of this “moment of disagreement.”

Albanese stated “We are not Yes voters or No voters, we are all Australians. And it is as Australians together that we must take our country beyond this debate.”

Archbishop Coleridge said the Australian Catholic bishops have spoken of the need for a new engagement with Indigenous peoples.

“Fine words and symbolic gestures are not enough,” the archbishop said

“In the Archdiocese of Brisbane we will commit ourselves more resolutely to our Reconciliation Action Plan.

“It’s up to all of us to ensure that what we do from here serves national unity and racial justice, because we’ll never have the first unless we have the second,” Coleridge concluded.



The Catholic Leader

CathNews New Zealand

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News category: World.

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