Australia’s sport codes unite in support of Indigenous voice to parliament
In a rare show of unity, all of Australia’s major sport codes have come together in support of one significant cause.
May 26, 2023 - 12:29PM
A number of Aussie legends and sporting bodies have united to throw their support behind the Voice to Parliament
Australia’s sport codes have united in an extraordinary show of support for the Indigenous voice to parliament, advocating for a nation that “values equity and fairness”.
Twenty-one organisations, including all the major sports, have signed an open letter to Australians expressing support for the voice.
The letter was followed on Friday morning with a historic gathering of sporting royalty at separate events in Sydney and Melbourne.
The organisations involved included: the AFL, Cricket Australia, the NRL, Rugby Australia, Tennis Australia, Netball Australia, Football Australia, Motorsport Australia, the NBL, Golf Australia, the PGA of Australia, Australian Taekwondo, Badminton Australia, Baseball Australia, Boxing Australia, Deaf Sport Australia, No Limit Boxing, Sport Inclusion Australia, NRL Touch Football Australia, Triathlon Australia and Wheelchair Rugby League Australia.
Australians will vote on whether to alter the constitution to enshrine an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice later this year.
Rugby league legend Mal Meninga on Friday voiced his passionate support for the campaign while speaking to news.com.au from the Sydney event.
“I feel privileged,” he said. “I think it’s a celebration and it’s a significant issue in Australian history.
“I can’t see anything wrong with it — listening to the voice of the First Nations people. Learning from them and learning from their past and taking action with them.
“This is not a case of doing this for them or on behalf of them. It’s about taking action with them and I think that’s generally how we operate in spot. You bring your team along with you. You act collectively to achieve success. I can see great benefit in it.
“If you know your history, this should have been done 100 years ago.”
The open letter is addressed to the “sports fans of Australia”, and stresses that sport “has always served as a unifying force for our diverse Australian society”.
“Regardless of where we come from or what we believe in, sport brings people together in the spirit of achievement, community and celebration,” it reads.
“Moreover, sport plays a significant role in reconciling Australia. It has long been a means for the inclusion and celebration of the incredible achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
“This year, all Australians will have their say in a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the constitution by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice. We, as a collective, support recognition through a voice.
“We believe our nation can achieve this profound recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first peoples of our country, in our constitution. And that we should do that by ensuring Indigenous Australians have a meaningful say in shaping their own future.
“We commit to using our platforms to lead conversations that promote respect, trust and goodwill between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. We commit to improving education and understanding among the Australians who play, administer and watch our sports.
“We encourage all Australians who love sport to listen with an open heart and an open mind through this historic moment.”
The letter stresses that the organisations respect “everyone is entitled to reach their own decision, come the referendum”, but advocates for “a vision for the future as a nation that values equity, fairness and the rights of the traditional custodians of our land”.
A long list of prominent Australian sportspeople are fronting the campaign, including Meninga, cricketer Alyssa Healy, boxer Jamie Bittman, footballer Jade North, AFL star Eddie Betts, cricketer Jason Gillespie, netballer Cath Cox, basketballer Andrew Gaze, and multiple Olympians, such as baseballer David Hynes and taekwondo competitor Carmen Marton.
The 21-organisation teamup adds further strength to Australian sport’s support for the Indigenous voice, knitting together rival codes that have previously expressed their individual position on the matter.
News Corp journalist Jamie Pandaram, who attended the announcement held at North Sydney Oval, described the scene as “history”.
“This is an unprecedented coming together of major Australian sporting bodies to support the Indigenous Voice to parliament,” he posted on Twitter.
Cricket Australia was the most recent major sport to announce its support, with chairman Mike Baird issuing a statement on Monday afternoon.
“The Cricket Australia board is proud of cricket’s powerful and unique history with First Nations people, and in keeping with our continuing contribution to reconciliation, supports the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian constitution through the voice,” Mr Baird said.
“We encourage respectful and inclusive conversations across cricket to support our staff, players, volunteers and officials’ ongoing journey of education on First Nations histories and cultures and the proposal to formalise a lasting and appropriate voice for First Nations people through the referendum.”
The AFL and Rugby Australia made their position clear a week ago, with the AFL saying it was “privileged to have a long history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership”.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players have long made a stellar contribution on the footy field. Their off-field contributions are equally valued for the impact they have made on our game and our community,” it said.
“While we encourage everyone to seek the information they need to form their own views on the referendum, the AFL proudly supports the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian constitution.”
Rugby Australia stressed that the voice “is not about division, it’s about union”.
“If we’re ever going to achieve true union as a nation, we must take every opportunity we have to close the gap which still separates so many of us,” it said.
“Provision for an Indigenous voice to parliament in our constitution is long overdue. Let’s get it over the line.”
And earlier this month, the NRL released a statement saying “true change comes through listening, learning and taking action”, and encouraging “everyone in the rugby league community” to “get informed by the facts and use their voice so that we can move forward together”.
“First Nations communities have deep bonds with rugby league and are part of our fabric at all levels, from grassroots participants and fans to the Indigenous stars who light up the NRL and NRLW,” the league said.
It is what it is Driza
You had to mention crocodiles Driza didn't you.I don't think I will sleep tonight.I actually visited this place
Brissy = phil sim = super
I had a rather heavy set woman dressed like a out of date loaf of bread which is a pre requisite of being a dipshit lefty come into the office asking if I would like to have one of those signs that acknowledge Aboriginals that we see in all government buildings a few weeks ago .
I told the slob of a woman that I had zero interest to which she asked why , i simply said that I have zero interest in Aboriginal affairs, the dope responded with " that's really sad " with a condescending tone .
This is when the left one started to bounce and I told her what really is fucking sad is that all the men and women who fought and died for this country and our way of life only get recognised once a fucking year yet people who have absolutely done SFA for Australia need to be recognised every where we go .
Out of all of the arguments i have heard against Voice, that has to be the fucking dumbest frank.
I can not comment yes or no as I am ignorant to the facts / arguments on both sides, I just have not motivated myself to read up on it. I bet many Yes and No supporters have based their views on negligible in depth study.
If you respect the “values equity and fairness” of a democratic society then vote no. I thought we did away with policy based on the colour of ones skin decades ago. It won't do anything for the indigenous communties doing it tough in the outback. All it will do is create yet another layer of government and bureaucracy to fatten up the city elites with an even bigger gravy train of taxpayer funds.
The new religion that is wokeness is destroying western societies as it's disciples find false meaning in it's fundementalism.
Sorry but let's be honest, these sports rely on some govt handouts / exposure etc. not to mention the AFL for example gaining a new ground albeit some issues to sort in Tassie.
Aboriginal people have a voice and have for a while, and I won't go back and apologise for this as their voting rights was done before I was born and while it was wrong they can all vote and more importantly can be responsible for themselves.
THEY CAN ALREADY VOTE.
This voice is nothing more than more virtue signaling except it will have far reaching issues into all of us.
Lastly, any sporting code supporting this do not speak for their supporters and can get stuffed.
Lydia Thorpe is on the yes side... that's probably enough to sway many to the no side.
That woman should be locked up. She's absolutely lost the plot the vile moll . AIDS would be too pleasant a death for her.