First Nations Women at the heart of The Voice debate

10 powerful pieces that centre First Nations Women at the heart of The Voice debate

by Verve

As we approach a historic referendum for all Australians focused on the recognition of First Nations Australians, our airwaves have been dominated by the loud and vocal voices of a few – largely those who already have considerable power and voice in our country. 

We know that around 80% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people support The Voice, yet we rarely hear the voices of a range of First Nations people. So we have collated these powerful pieces of content – women speaking in their own voices about what The Voice means to them. 

In contrast to how our media typically represents debate and clouds our judgment of levels of support, we have included voices in the same ratio of supporters and opponents or undecided voices, in this case eight voices for The Voice and two opposed. 

Each of their viewpoints are powerful and informative.

In support

This six minute video includes footage captured from the journey to the Uluru Statement of the Heart and the voices of a number of aboriginal women elders about why The Voice is important to them. The importance of truth telling, and the need to move forward as a country. 

Professor Megan Davis, a  Cobble Cobble women, speaks powerfully in this video about the impact of colonialism on her own family, and as a Professor of Law and the Pro Vice-Chancellor First Nations at UNSW Sydney, she speaks about how she believes the laws contained in The Voice will provide structural legal frameworks to support her people. This is a great first piece of content to understand what The Voice is all about. 

Kate Russell, an Awabakal woman writes powerfully about why First Nations people need allies to step up in support of The Voice.

Artist Sally Scales, a Pitjantjatjara woman, talks to Harpers Bazaar about the power of art to heal and to bring together support for The Voice and what it means to her. 

Dr Josie Douglas, a Wardaman woman, fronts this short video capturing voices from remote First Nations communities and focusing on how First Nations people believe The Voice will practically benefit their community.

Allira Davis, Cobble Cobble woman, Co-Chair of the Uluru Youth Dialogue, talks in this video from 2022 about why The Voice needs to be enshrined in the Constitution. 

Bridget Cama, Wiradjuri Woman, Youth Dialogue Co-Chair, speaks in this short video about why The Voice is important to young First Nations people.    

Minister Linda Burney, Wiradjuri Woman,  full 30 minute press club address, questioning how much longer must First Nations people wait for recognition. Laying out her personal story, and her vision for what she believes The Voice can deliver.

Opposed or undecided

Celeste Liddle, an Arrernte woman, explains how she feels stuck with a choice between systems she does not trust and the fear of giving in to rabid racists.
Amy MQGuire, a Darumbal and South Sea Islander woman, questions whether voting on The Voice will fight the racist violence that First Nations people are grappling with today.

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