Australian sporting legends unite as legends speak out for ‘Voice to Parliament’
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More than 20 of Australia’s largest sporting bodies have joined forces to support Voice to Parliament.
After weeks of various organizations declaring their support for The Voice, league CEOs and former greats turned up at presentations in Sydney and Melbourne to make a joint statement.
The main purpose of the event was to publish an open letter to “Australian sports fans” with co-signatories from officials from the AFL, NRL, Cricket Australia, Rugby Australia and even representatives from golf, football, basketball, tennis and netball to Taekwondo and Deaf Sport Australia.
Also in attendance were numerous legends of Australian sport, including Indigenous icons Eddie Betts (AFL) and Jason Gillespie (cricket), as well as current Australian rugby league head coach Mal Meninga and basketball star Andrew Gaze.
“I feel privileged,” Meninga said Friday of his role in the open letter.
“I think it’s a celebration and an important theme in Australian history.
“I see nothing wrong with listening to the First Nations voice. Learn from them and learn from their past and trade with them.
“This is not about doing this for them or on their behalf. It’s about taking action together with them, and I think that’s generally the way we do things on the ground.
“You bring your team with you. They act together to be successful. I see great benefit in this.
“If you know your history, this should have happened 100 years ago.”
The letter reads:
Dear Australian Sports Fans,
We, the representatives of leading sports organizations in Australia, come together to deliver this statement to all Australians who love their sport:
Sport has always been a unifying force for our diverse Australian society.
Regardless of where we come from or what we believe in, sport brings people together in a spirit of achievement, community and celebration.
In addition, sport plays an important role in Australia’s reconciliation.
It has long been a means of including and celebrating the incredible achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
This year, in a referendum on the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Constitution, all Australians will have a say by introducing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander vote.
As a collective, we support recognition by one voice.
We believe our nation can achieve this profound recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first peoples of our country in our Constitution.
And that we should do this by ensuring that Indigenous Australians have a meaningful say in shaping their own future.
We are committed to using our platforms to engage in conversations that foster respect, trust and goodwill between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
We are committed to improving education and understanding among the Australians who play, manage and watch our sports.
We encourage all Australians who love sport to listen to this historic moment with an open heart and mind.
We respect that everyone has the right to make their own decision in the referendum.
Together we share a vision for the future as a nation that values justice, fairness and the rights of our land’s traditional custodians.
The country where we play, love and celebrate sports in Australia.”
https://www.theroar.com.au/2023/05/26/should-have-been-done-100-years-ago-australian-sports-unite-as-legends-speak-out-in-support-of-voice-to-parliament/ Australian sporting legends unite as legends speak out for 'Voice to Parliament'