Invasion Day rally

Photo by Johan Mouchet / Unsplash

The Voice Series: Cassandra Ashcroft

My attempt to make sense of and share my perspective on the Voice to Parliament has resulted in several pages of writing. Each page is different, almost at odds with the other. Every page highlights that when addressed, I am unable to limit my thoughts and feelings to the matter at hand. I struggle to express myself and my view in totality with words alone. I have tied myself in knots and find them nearly impossible to untangle.

It is easy to get caught up in semantics and lose sight of the real issue at hand. Which from my perspective is Justice and reconciliation. While it may appear to be a Blak issue at the heart of it, I view it as a national one. Continuing to silence our First Peoples will be detrimental to us all. 

When I first left school, I was well-meaning but naive. Any initiative claiming to support more agency and more substantial outcomes for First Nations Australians would automatically gain my support. Now I know it is far more complex. It's rarely straightforward and often duplicitous. This is why I can easily understand the skepticism surrounding the Voice to Parliament. 

I do, however, find it difficult to understand why justice and reparations for First Nations Australians and their descendants is a matter that's up for debate. I struggle to understand why fair and equal treatment for a group of people is presented as a political problem. 

We must stop relying wholly on our minds and also tap into our hearts.  That is where we will find our humanity.  

Our First Nations people hold sacred knowledge of how to care for our country and how to care for each other. This is a voice that deserves more than just being heard; It deserves power.