The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) today joined forces with Yes23 and the Multicultural Australia for Voice alliance to launch the Victorian Multicultural Voices for ‘Yes’ awareness campaign.

The campaign will harness the power of multicultural communities to raise awareness about why the recognition of our First Nations People in the Constitution is important and how voting ‘Yes’ will achieve that.

Multicultural and multifaith leaders, along with First Nations Elders, attended the launch, with guest speakers Aunty Esme Bamblett, CEO of the Aboriginal Advancement League and a member of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria, Minister for Multicultural Affairs Colin Brooks, and the Minister for Treaty and First Peoples Gabrielle Williams.

Victorian Multicultural Voices for ‘Yes’ will be organising community town hall forums and community workshops in the lead-up to the referendum. These engagements aim to empower and equip multicultural communities with how to have conversations about the referendum and why it matters.

ECCV Members will be hosting their own community forums to inform members of their communities about why voting ‘YES’ matters, including the Islamic Council of Victoria on 20 August and the Greek Community of Melbourne on 28 August.

The launch follows the success of a national multicultural town hall forum at Springvale City Hall with Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney, which was attended by more than 700 people last Sunday.

The ECCV is the peak body for multicultural Victoria, with over 220 organisational members.

Quotes attributable to ECCV CEO Mo Elrafihi

“Our First Nations and multicultural communities have shared values that bind us. Our awareness campaign will empower and equip our diverse communities to have positive conversations and to make informed choices in the upcoming referendum.”

“As the peak council representing multicultural Victoria, it is our responsibility to show leadership on this important issue.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Multicultural Affairs Colin Brooks

“Victoria’s vibrant multicultural communities are what make our state great.”

“We’re thrilled to see the ECCV launch this awareness-raising campaign to harness the power and strength of our multicultural communities to achieve recognition of First Nations People in our constitution.”

Quotes attributable to CEO of the Aboriginal Advancement League Aunty Esme Bamblett

“Governments will get better outcomes if they listen to Aboriginal people who know what our community needs.”

“We’ve had policies and programs forced onto us for 200 years and we know there’s a better way. That better way is for Aboriginal people to have a Voice to Parliament so we can have a say about the decisions that affect us. It will help our communities thrive again and when we thrive we can share our culture and knowledge of this land which will benefit all Australians.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Gabrielle Williams MP

“Victoria has the most advanced treaty process in the country and the Andrews Labor Government is proud to support the constitutional recognition of First Peoples and a Voice to Parliament.”

“ECCV’s awareness-raising campaign demonstrates the passionate commitment of our state’s multicultural communities to walk together on the path to reconciliation and justice.”

Quotes attributable to Yes23 Multicultural Lead Brad Chilcott AM

“The privilege I enjoy living on these lands came at great cost to others. That cost continues to be paid today in the form of exclusion from opportunity, discrimination and huge gaps in wellbeing and other outcomes.”

“It’s well past time for us to recognise First Nations people in our Constitution and enshrine their Voice in the governing document of Australia to change this situation and build a better future.”


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