Year 12 Sociology and Australian Global Politics students had an inspiring class to remember this morning, with Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, answering all their questions about the Australian Indigenous Voice referendum.
Ms Chesters spoke to students about the Constitution of Australia, the past and present treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and the implications of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, before explaining the importance of the referendum and enrolling to vote.
“Until now, governments have made decisions ‘for’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, often with disastrous results,” Ms Chesters said.
“For a whole range of social policy issues, we need to try something different… to help close the gap.”
Students asked a range of insightful questions, such as how Voice representatives would be selected, the timeframe if a ‘Yes’ result is achieved, how Voice representation will look in parliament, and if the Government had a plan should the referendum fail.
Ms Chesters urged the students to enrol to vote and have their say on the future of their country.
“A ‘Yes’ result could give Australia the confidence to tackle even more reform and Constitutional change in the future,” she said. “We want everyone to have the opportunity to live their best possible lives.”