Listen to the Heart, Say ‘Yes’ to Voice
The date for the referendum on enshrining an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament and Government in the Constitution of Australia has now been confirmed as Saturday 14 October.
Dean of Melbourne, Dr Andreas Loewe said: “Our Cathedral community has affirmed their support of the invitation to journey with First Nations People expressed in the Statement from the Heart. At our Annual General Meeting an overwhelming majority of members affirmed their support for the Voice. We believe that The Voice calls from the heart, and that’s why we say ‘yes’.”
Reflecting the overwhelming support of the Cathedral community for the Voice, on July 29 St Paul’s Cathedral unveiled a large-scale banner on the South-West spire of the Cathedral encouraging Australians to say ‘yes’ to the Voice in a first step towards greater reconciliation in Australia.
Reconciliation lies at the heart of the Christian message, Dean Andreas said: “As followers of Jesus, we each must answer his call to be reconciled. That’s true for individuals and for nations. I believe that, for Australia, Constitutional Recognition of First People and the establishment of a Voice to Parliament, is the right first step in responding to that call.”
We encourage all Australians, whether they have a personal faith or not, to answer for themselves the invitation of our First Nations People to walk alongside them in the process outlined in the Statement from the Heart. Each one of us can make a difference in the campaign for the Voice.
The Dean explained: “As Christians we can make a positive difference to the national debate. All of us can be involved by informing ourselves better, and encouraging and engaging in thoughtful conversations on the Voice with our families, workmates and friends. By being positive and thoughtful, firm in our own views but considerate of differences, we can help shift the tenor of the conversation from antagonism to respect”.
A range of resources has been made available online on the St Paul’s Cathedral website, including workbooks explaining the Statement from the Heart, answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and other articles, which may be found here: cathedral.org.au/outreach/reconciliation
Image: (left to right) Bp Chris McLeod, Uncle Ringo, Uncle Glenn Loughrey, Uncle John Baxter, the Dean, Canon Helen Dwyer, Canon Garry Deverell