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Upholding Aboriginal Rights: Combating Hate and Racism in the Wake of the Voice Referendum

The Voice of a Koori Woman

By SJ Nichol Published 2 months ago 3 min read
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In the aftermath of the Voice Referendum, which marked a significant step towards recognizing the rights of Australia's first people, there has been a disturbing resurgence of hate and racism targeting Aboriginal communities. Despite strides towards reconciliation, the journey towards equality remains fraught with obstacles, with online platforms becoming breeding grounds for bigotry and discrimination. As an Aboriginal woman and advocate for social justice, it is imperative that we stand united against hate and actively work towards a more inclusive society.

Where do we begin when so many are using the 'no' vote as an excuse to explain racist behaviors?

Since the decision of the 'no' vote, the surge in racism has become particularly pronounced in regional areas across Australia. Serious concerns have been reported in places such as Regional Victoria and Regional Western Australia. However, this does not imply that metropolitan areas have been unaffected; rather, the escalation of racist incidents has been notably conspicuous in regional settings

The Voice Referendum, represented a pivotal moment in Australia's history, offering Aboriginals the opportunity to have a say in decisions that affect our own lives. The proposal aimed to establish a constitutionally enshrined First Nation advisory body, providing a platform for First Nation voices to be heard at the highest levels of government. While the referendum garnered widespread support from First Nation communities and allies, it also sparked vehement opposition from individuals and groups entrenched in ideologies that strayed from the Voice's purpose.

In the wake of the Voice Referendum, there has been a disturbing uptick in online hate speech targeting Aboriginal peoples. Social media platforms once heralded as tools for connection and activism, have increasingly become battlegrounds for hate groups seeking to propagate divisive rhetoric. From derogatory comments to explicit threats, Aboriginal peoples are routinely subjected to vile attacks that undermine their dignity and humanity.

While the road ahead may be fraught with challenges, it is also brimming with opportunities for positive change. As we reflect on the legacy of the Voice Referendum and the ongoing struggle for Aboriginal rights, we must recommit ourselves to the principles of equality, justice, and solidarity. By amplifying Aboriginal voices, challenging discriminatory narratives, and fostering dialogue across communities, we can build a more inclusive and equitable society for us all.

Together, we can build a nation where every voice is heard, every culture is celebrated, and every individual is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Following the Voice Referendum, we must continue to support and uplift our mob in meaningful ways. One crucial aspect involves advocating for the full implementation of the proposals outlined in the referendum, ensuring that First Nation voices are not only heard but also heeded at all levels of government. This includes actively engaging with policymakers and holding them accountable for delivering on their commitments to First Nation rights and self-determination.

Additionally, we must prioritize initiatives aimed at addressing the systemic inequalities and injustices faced by Aboriginal communities. This includes advocating for increased funding for Aboriginal-led programs and services that promote health, social and emotional well-being, education, and economic empowerment. Supporting initiatives that strengthen cultural identity and connection to country is also essential in fostering resilience and well-being within our communities.

We must also continue to challenge and confront racism in all its forms, both within our communities, society at large, and now, more than ever, through social media. This involves promoting cultural awareness and understanding, challenging stereotypes and misconceptions, and actively advocating for anti-racist and anti-hate policies and practices. By fostering dialogue and building alliances with allies from diverse backgrounds, we can work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society for all Australians.

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About the Creator

SJ Nichol

Timeless imagination ~ freeing the mind and leaving behind pieces of soul.

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