Blog 8

Stand with First Nations People

In making this Historic decision of giving the First Nations People a Voice, I would like to express my thoughts. In writing this I make a stand and helps me to understand why I have come to this conclusion!! Feel free to give me feedback.

A friend recently expressed his opinion saying everyone in Australia should be equal-and I agree.

When the Australian constitution was written Aboriginal people were ignored. They were here before us, but the writers of the Constitution did not even mention them. I know people will say things were different back then, but it doesn’t make it right. A bit rude don’t you think! If I were Aboriginal and I became aware of that I would feel miffed, especially if I then learnt that I was part of the stollen generation and that whenever I spoke up in protest I was discarded – Oh it’s just Aboriginals complaining again!!

Today I actually googled the Australian Constitution! I encourage everyone to do so. You can’t read it without realising what an unfair deal it has been for the Aboriginal people! The arrogance of the invaders is mind-blowing!! From a white persons mentality back then it is understandable – times were different, but in hindsight it is neither understandable and in fact it was wrong, and because we now are experiencing the direct results of the arrogance of white colonisation that Aboriginal people have had to suffer, we have a chance to try to fix the wrongs. In good conscience we must try. Reflecting on the past makes us mature and wiser.

Imagine the British arriving back in 1788 ( in competition with the French who were trying to do a land grab as well) and claiming this huge landmass and ignoring the Aboriginal people – no one was here. They called it terranulleus. No-one home. And that was reasonably recent. Not a thousand years ago, but not much over 200 years ago! Within a few generations and known knowledge.

I know if I was Aboriginal-I would feel pissed off!

It’s not like going back to the dark ages! We know what happened back in 1788. It’s recorded as History! White mans history! What about Aboriginal history-oral history!!

I have been fortunate to sit in the desert with a Women’s law group in the Warman area (Turkey creek) and observe and learn about Aboriginal ways. I met the well-known artist Queenie Mackenzie (passed). This experience challenged my way of thinking!

I always thought I was not racist, but that meeting with those women made me realise some misguided feelings I had about being in the company of Aboriginal women. It made me confront my bias! I realised that I had nothing to be afraid of. In fact I realised in that moment, I could have been sitting with my own grandmother. After all my grandmother had not had a formal education. She had acquired all her wisdom from the community in her village in Ukraine. These aboriginal women were not so different! It was a lightbulb moment for me!!

A few years ago I had my own loss experience. I had to relinquish a house that my husband and I had built with our own two hands. I was so attached to the property and house and grieved so badly, that it was only years later when I was able to reclaim the property did I finally feel at peace.

Imagine the loss that Aboriginal people must feel. Not only did the British and all following ethnic immigrants come and push them aside, they also lived and prospered at the first people’s expense.

No-one acknowledged them as the First people of this land. In fact they could not be counted in the census until 1967. In hindsight this is truly unconscionable!! But again we closed our minds to the damage that we had done to the First Australians and assumed that they should move on , toughen up, suck it up. How would many people respond to this attitude if they had never resolved a serious problem.

Aboriginal people have put up with a lot – white and ethnic Australians are lucky to live here and should feel privileged to be here. I know I do! I came from Europe.

It’s time to recognise them in the Constitution and the voice to Parliament will give them respect that they deserve. It certainly won’t hurt to try. They must be tired of people meddling within their problems. And believe me when I say : as a white person if you have problems in your life- just imagine one morning you wake up and you realise you are Aboriginal living in Alice Springs or Fitzroy crossing or the Kimberley or anywhere else. How would it feel to be in their shoes?!

Now we need to listen to Aboriginal people’s voices regarding their own issues. It’s the proper thing to do. Especially when so many First people are still grieving for their loss! Some have adapted better to white peoples ways. But some still are pissed off. I know I would be. And worse still some are experiencing health problems, incarceration and dying prematurely because of displacement in their own country. How can we continue to go forward without taking on the Uluṟu Statement from the Heart?

The first peoples of Australia have asked us to go with them on this journey! The Uluru Statement From the Heart asks us other Australians to do just that. If you haven’t read it yet – Google it!!

What have we all other Australians, got to lose – nothing!! We might even feel great!!

You might even find yourself feeling very proud to call yourself Australian especially with some bragging rights when travelling overseas.

This is the oldest known civilisation on the planet.

So hey don’t be afraid! Say YES in the referendum.

I will be voting YES!


People who say it’s all not understandable and they need more detail are really scaremongering. The people who I admire like constitutional lawyer Ann Towmey say there are no loopholes in such a simple change to our Constitution. We have absolutely nothing to lose! And if we say Yes we have a lot to gain. It’s now up to us all to do the right thing. And if consultation brings up issues that need solving, we will be all the better and stronger for it. An Australia that will have faced its past with honour.

Thank you for reading this,

Luda Korczynskyj.