THE HON STEPHEN JONES MP
MINISTER FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES
MEMBER FOR WHITLAM
Australians will soon have their say in an upcoming referendum later this year to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Constitution.
Ahead of this important referendum, nearly 100 local residents attended last night’s Shellharbour Community Voice Forum hosted by Member for Whitlam Stephen Jones.
Attendees heard a Welcome to Country, a reading from the Uluru Statement from the Heart by Taliah King, an address on The Voice by Yorta Yorta woman Dr Summer May Finlay and a didgeridoo performance by Gawura.
During his address to the community, Jones outlined why The Voice is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make Australia stronger and more united, and how it aims to improve the outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The Labor MP also touched on the history of First Nations people, why he is personally supporting The Voice and what it means for the community of Shellharbour.
At the conclusion of the event, a live Q&A session saw several community members ask key questions about The Voice. Questions included clarity about the scope of The Voice and how it will benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. A number of people in attendance also publicly expressed their support for the Voice to Parliament.
Quotes attributable to Stephen Jones, Member for Whitlam:
“Constitutional recognition through a Voice to Parliament is about two things – recognition and listening. It’s about recognition of the 65,000 years of shared history and continuous connection to this land by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. It’s about listening to communities, because that leads to better policies and outcomes for people on issues that affect their lives.”
“I want our community to make an informed decision at the upcoming referendum. I want to thank Taliah King, Dr Summer May Finlay and Gawura for sharing their experiences, views, and culture. This is something I am quite passionate about, and I’m glad others in our community are too. It was quite moving to hear from so many people in Shellharbour about how supportive they are about The Voice.”