A Voice in the Wilderness.

The Australian Voice referendum was held two Saturdays ago, and in response, a gay refugee speaks from the heart of Africa – the objective voice of someone who lives daily with his own experiences of stigma and disempowerment and discrimination, a voice from the margins. This young man, from another continent and culture, speaks with genuine empathy, affection and solidarity towards indigenous and other Australians.

As his words demonstrate, the outcome of this referendum has impacted the human family around the world.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Received 12 October 2023.
(Before the referendum)

Dear my wonderful Aussies,

Whatever the Vote comes to the next few days
THIS IS THE BEGINNING NOT THE END.

If there is need to create another way to make an Indigenous Voice that will be listened to, respected, valued, and contribute towards closing the gap, you will make this way happen.

Whatever happens you now know there are millions of Australians out there who care deeply.
If you end up being a minority, it will be a huge minority. It can become a unified voice with power.
Love and listening and unity bring greater power than violence and fear and hate.

Maybe you don’t need the ignorant, the gullible the fearful, the mistaken, the racists, the uncaring, those who have no imagination to walk in different shoes than their own. Maybe we can even show them the way eventually.

The respect and care you hold for our first nations peoples, the truth we know of the damage of our colonial history and the intergenerational damage that still haunts us, is strong and sure. We have seen that in our friends these past months.

The love you have for Australia will not let you see your nation sink to the depths in unkindness & fear.

Take heart. If you have to do it the hard way, we are up for it. Love will make a way.

Best of Luck

(Name withheld)
Nairobi Kenya.

Image by Anja🤗#helpinghands #solidarity#stays healthy🙏 from Pixabay

Received 15 October 2023.
(After the referendum)

Dear Geoff,

The list of causalities is a long one and all our names are on it, the outcome of the referendum was horrible and saddening.

With heavy heart and tears, I edit and rewrite what I wrote last week.

We are all losers today.
Every Australian is a loser.
Probably the biggest losers are those now celebrating who do not realise what they have revealed about themselves.
However

THIS IS THE BEGINNING NOT THE END.

We now need to create another way to call forth and empower an Indigenous Voice that will be listened to, respected, valued, and contribute towards closing the gap.

We now need to create a way to unite and empower Australia’s indigenous and non-indigenous caring minority so we can speak and work as one.

We need to rescue Australia’s humanity.

We can make this happen.

We now know there are millions of fellow Australians out there who care deeply.
Caring decent Australia is a minority but a significant and committed minority.
We can become a unified force with power.
Love and listening and unity bring greater power than violence and fear and hate.
(I commit myself to this even though I don’t feel it right now).

We don’t need the ignorant, the gullible, the fearful, the selfish, the mistaken, the racists, the uncaring, those who have no imagination to walk in different shoes than their own.
We can do this in spite of them.

The love we have for Australia will not let us see our nation stay sunk to these depths of unkindness, gullibility, hatred and fear.

Take heart.
I say this firstly to myself right now,
feeling gutted, unforgiving, angry, grieving, wanting to be anything but Australian.
Tasting what our indigenous have experienced for so long.

We will have to do it the hard way.
We need to be up for it.
We may need time to grieve and heal.

Love will make a way.
That is the challenge.

©2023 Geoff Allshorn. All rights returned to the author.