Jesinta Franklin, Australian model and wife of sporting legend Lance “Buddy” Franklin, has made an impassioned plea for the country to vote yes on the Indigenous Voice To Parliament referendum on Saturday.
Taking to the stage at Are Media’s Ignites event in Brisbane, the model spoke about the impact the vote will have on her family.
“If we wake up on Sunday and it is ‘no’, my children and my husband will still not be recognised in the founding document of this country,” Jesinta told Nicky Briger, marie claire’s general manager.
Jesinta’s husband, Buddy, is a proud Noongar man and the couple’s two children share their father’s Indigenous identity and heritage.
“Can you imagine how that feels as a mother, to know that this country does not recognise the people that you love the most?” Jesinta asked the room.
Jesinta also touched on the consequences a ‘no’ result will have on Indigenous Australians.
“If you vote no on Saturday, you are actively participating in the continued degradation of Indigenous people in this country,” she said.
“So when you look at that ballot, think about the impact two very simple words can have on people in this country who have been here for over 65,000 years, who are still dealing with things in other first nations countries do not have to deal with.
“Think about the impact of that.”
To conclude, Jesinta finished with a passionate plea to everyone who was thinking about voting no, to consider the people in their lives who the vote might impact.
“If it doesn’t affect anyone else that you love in the world, think about the people who are around you. It’s going to impact the people who I love,” she said.
“And you know what, that’s what humanity is all about. It is about doing things for other people that may not have any impact on you but are going to make an improvement on someone else’s life. That is what it truly means to be a kind human being.
“So I pray with all my heart that when we wake up on Sunday, we wake up to a really hopeful, bright future. For not just Indigenous Australians but for all Australians because we are only ever as good as our lowest common denominator.”
Australians will head to the polling booth on October 14, and will be asked to vote “yes” or “no” to the following statement:
A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Do you approve this proposed alteration?
The latest polling shows a “no” vote is more likely, meaning these final hours to talk to friends and family about voting “yes” are crucial. The lead up to the referendum has been fraught with misinformation, but the simple truth is that it will allow Indigenous Australians to have a say on decisions that will impact them — and is supported by more than 80% of Indigenous Australians.
“The Voice to Parliament is about allowing us to have a seat at the table on laws and policies that are made about our lives,” Professor Megan Davis, who helped create 2017’s Uluru Statement from the Heart, said at marie claire’s Power Talks events last week.
“This change will be hugely empowering for our community, both in terms of the acceptance and love that we will feel from all Australians, but also because it’s a practical change that will empower us to have a seat at the table to make things happen. And it will allow women’s voices to flourish. Let me repeat that: It will allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s voices to flourish.”