Sydney Community Foundation Directors Support Voting Yes on October 14 at the Referendum.
By Chair, Sophie McCarthy
On Saturday, October 14 Australians will go to the polls to vote on the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Constitution. I will be voting Yes along with the Board of the Sydney Community Foundation.
Our work together at the Foundation is to make Sydney a fairer and kinder place, that can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of their gender, religion or start in life. We know that the most effective way to build, improve and empower people and their community is to listen and directly involve people from those communities. We see the results in local programs that keep children at school, build confidence and self-belief, offer pathways to training, further study and work, and support women and families in crisis.
Sydney is blessed with natural and financial riches, is a truly multicultural community and should offer education, work and joy to all its citizens. Sadly, this is not the case. Many live in fear, in poverty, in jail, in detention and struggle to get through the day.
Life for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Sydney is tough. They die younger and experience higher rates of disease, incarceration, unemployment and violence at home. Colonisation by the British over 200 years ago violently disrupted life for First Nations people. It was never the same.
Acknowledging that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the original custodians of this land, acknowledging the trauma and sorrow many of them have experienced and building a path together that was carefully crafted by indigenous leaders in the stunning document, the Uluru Statement From the Heart is an important step for our nation.
We see the Voice to Parliament as a sign of respect, kindness and fairness and a step towards reconciliation for our country. Please make an informed vote using factual information on October 14 and consider your role in making this happen.
Sophie McCarthy – Chair
Georgina Byron AM – Deputy Chair
Lisa Chung AM
Juliana Nkrumah AM
Lucy Brogden AM, Director, Be Kind Sydney and Patron, Sydney Women’s Fund