Hundreds of volunteers from across South Australia will soon mobilise to raise awareness about constitutional recognition in the run up to the first referendum this century.
RECOGNISE has launched its volunteer-driven Field Campaign, to co-ordinate and train
thousands of volunteers around the country to spread the word about getting recognition in and racism out of the Constitution.
Ngarrindjeri man, Luke Taylor will lead the South Australian Field campaign.
He is following in the footsteps of his late grandfather Harry Taylor, who was involved in the
1967 referendum campaign.
“It’s been 50 years since the historic vote, when more than 90% of Australians voted “YES” to improving Indigenous rights,” Mr Taylor said.
“The ’67 campaigners, like my grandfather, worked so hard to win the support of everyday
Australians to bring about positive change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“It’s 2017 and now it’s time for me to take the next steps as we head towards a referendum on constitutional recognition,” Mr Taylor said.
Late last year, Luke Taylor became a father for the first time. He said he wants his little girl to
grow up in a country where her culture is respected and recognised in the Constitution and he’s calling on South Australians to join him in the campaign.
Hundreds of South Australians have already signed on as supporters and volunteers.
“We need to step up that number. RECOGNISE will be at many events including WOMADelaide.
We’ll also be running information sessions and out door-knocking looking for new volunteers to help raise awareness about why constitutional change is important.”
Luke Taylor is being supported by his aunt Shirley Peisley, who was one of many, who worked tirelessly in the lead up to the 67 vote.
RECOGNISE is the movement to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our Constitution and deal with the racial discrimination in it.
RECOGNISE is part of Reconciliation Australia.
Now in her 70s, Shirley is hoping today’s campaign will see the same energy and optimism that abounded half a century ago.
“Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander campaigners are our future. And, that is why I am passing on the baton to young people like Luke. My message to him and others who want to be part of the campaign is to never give up,” Ms Peisley said.
RECOGNISE Joint Campaign Director Mark Yettica-Paulson said talking about changing the Constitution is important work that will help the nation take the next step in the journey to reconciliation.
“This will be the first referendum in the digital age, which creates challenges and opportunities.
“Even with all the information available online, there’s no substitute for neighbours talking to
neighbours and for local leaders bringing communities together and people getting informed.
“Along with Luke in SA we have Field Leaders in New South Wales, Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania and the ACT.
Together they’ll be aiming to have one million one-on-one conversations with everyday Australians.
They’ll recruit, train and support thousands of volunteers to have those conversations in
workplaces, at sporting matches, shopping centres, schools and community events. They’ll aim to provide as much information as possible about the upcoming referendum.
Mr Yettica-Paulson said RECOGNISE has more than 300,000 supporters and we know thousands more are ready to take the next step in the journey to reconciliation.
Originally published in First Nation Telegraph at http://www.firstnationstelegraph.com/socialsouth-australian-volunteers-take-