Support for the Voice to Parliament referendum date
Common Grace and other leaders across the country welcomed the announcement of the Voice to Parliament referendum date and encourages all Australians to engage their communities in gracious conversations in the final weeks before Saturday 14 October.
Common Grace is calling for a Yes vote on a referendum for a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous Voice to Parliament and a sustained Yes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice.
Common Grace National Director Gershon Nimbalker feels the urgency behind this pivotal moment we are facing as a nation.
“This is a once in a generation opportunity to step forward together for reconciliation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice,” he said.
“This will be an Australia that more fully reflects God’s desire to see all experience the goodness he intends.”
Wuthithi and Mabuiag Island woman and Common Grace Relationship and Storytelling Coordinator, Safina Stewart encourages us to be prepared before the referendum.
“When you get to the ballot box that day, I want you to have been informed, taken your prayer and discernment journey seriously, and considered what long-term impact your vote will have on the generations of Indigenous people and children to come,” she said.
“We have no more time to lose; it’s now. I don’t want to be discussing constitutional reform in the next 10, 20 or 30 years.”
“I want this work to be a blessing for our children, so our children of today can be the adults that springboard from this historical moment on Saturday 14 October. I want them to be the generation living in the hope we’ve been able to set up for them today.”
Gomeroi woman and Common Grace Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice Coordinator, Bianca Manning, extends an invitation to all Australians to seek justice alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“As Aboriginal people, we can’t escape the path of seeking justice; our lives, families and communities depend on it,” she said.
“We invite you to join us on this challenging but beautiful journey of pursuing justice and God’s goodness, walking with us, listening deeply and speaking out in your communities.”
Each of us has a crucial role to play in speaking out in our communities and networks to ensure a referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament is successful.
The Uniting Church in NSW and the ACT has joined with Common Grace in celebrating the opportunity to affirm a Voice to our National Parliament.
“Voting Yes to the Voice is an echo of the gospel which invites us towards justice, through reconciliation with those around us, especially those we have harmed, those we have not served well, those we have tried to airbrush from our consciences and our history,” said Moderator Rev. Simon Hansford.
In an opinion piece for Sight online, Rev. Tim Costello backed the Voice.
“Enough of the discredited line that to stand up to injustice is divisive, dangerous and unwise,” he wrote.
“Four in five Indigenous Australians are asking for a voice, and Christians represent a larger share of the Indigenous population than the population at large. Let’s heed the lessons of history, from Botany Bay to Uluru. Let’s raise our voices for Amazing Grace, but let’s not fail the true test for our generation.”