On Saturday, July 8, Greater Springfield residents organised a rally in support of The Voice constitutional amendment referendum set to be put to the public by October.
Lead organiser for ‘Greater Springfield for Yes’ Keegan Peace, alongside co-organiser Bec Andlèmac, held the community forum, which invited supporters for the “Yes” campaign and other interested parties.
They aimed to deliver to interested residents more information about The Voice, how it came to be, and to increase awareness in the local community.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, also known as the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, or simply “The Voice”, proposes an Australian Federal advisory body – comprising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – to represent the views of Indigenous communities.
“I often found myself in a role where I would have to explain it, and there wasn’t really an avenue or easily accessible point, unless you did your research,” Keegan said.
“[Creating] a community forum was our initial idea – just the one event that I could invite our families and friends to, and people who probably have the same desire as us.”
The initially small gathering – including six people who RSVPed – soon morphed into a larger assembly of over 20 people.
First Nations educator and organiser, and Ipswich resident, Rachel Bos spoke at the event.
“[Rachel] used to be with the Teachers Union and now is the First Nations educator and organiser for The Voice for the Australian Council of Trade Unions nationally,” Keegan said.
“She had a really good presentation where she sort of raised all the arguments that were popping up in the news – and answers to all those that you might not assume from reading other statements or proposals.”
Jordan MP Charis Mullen also attended, saying she was “proud to stand with ‘Greater Springfield for Yes’.”
Campaigning alongside her was Bundamba MP Lance McCallum, who represents the neighbouring state seat.
“They all had a desire to help out, so it looks like we’ll be maybe doing a couple more things down the track,” Peace said.
Other similar campaign events surrounding Springfield included one in the Blair electorate in Ipswich, and the University of Southern Queensland Ipswich campus hosted an event with special guest Noel Pearson.