Could an on-campus Yes campaign unite Student Politics?
The UNSW campaign for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament is being led by Wiradjuri woman Brydie Zorz, a young First Nations leader who is also part of the Uluru Dialogues Youth Network. The UL holds the mandate of the Uluru Statement of the Heart. It is the main group pushing for reforms within the statement’s framework, including the establishment of a Voice to Parliament and a Makarrata Commission for the purpose of treaty making and truth-telling.
“I think it is just important to note that although to go to referendum you need political backing from parties,” Zorz told Tharunka. “We never wanted this issue to be passed around as a political football which we’ve seen time and time again with all First Nations issues.”
The campaign is currently run in collaboration with UNSW’s Labor Club. Pratham Gupta, Liberal Club president, told Tharunka that he would be interested in joining the campaign in support of the ‘Yes’ vote.
In contrast, the Greens on Campus have decided not to participate in the campaign, explaining that they would be sticking to their party’s official position.
According to Co-Convenor Conroy Blood, “at this current time, the Green Party at both federal level and across all states does not have a consensus on the Voice to Parliament.
“This is because the [party’s] First Nations network and First Nations workgroups across all states do not support the Voice to Parliament if it comes before a treaty.”
Zorz says she is not concerned about the movement not having endorsement from all political groups on campus. In her opinion, the Voice ‘is not an issue that needs to be over-politicised’.
UNSW formally took a supportive stance for the Voice in February.