Yes23.com.au launched to support campaign mobilisation, donations volunteer registration and voter information for Yes movement
The Yes campaign that will take the conversation on Constitutional recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to communities across Australia was launched today in Kaurna Yerta Country, Adelaide.
Hundreds of volunteers and advocates from civil society, faith groups, business leadership and community organisations gathered in Adelaide this week to discuss the rollout of the campaign that will support a Yes vote in the referendum which is expected at the end of this year.
Supporters also gathered for a launch party celebrating the field campaign rollout at Tandanya, the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, on Thursday, with entertainment by Emma Donovan and Shellie Morris.
The Paul Ramsay Foundation, one of Australia’s leading philanthropic foundations, announced it was backing the Yes campaign with a cornerstone donation of $5 million to Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition (AICR), which will act as a fundraising and governance body for the Yes movement. AICR recently received approval from the government to act as a not-for-profit fundraising organisation, and is now seeking further funding to support a successful outcome.
The funding will be used to support resources for advocates and more community events across the country over the coming months. In addition to coordinating the campaign, AICR will provide financial support to eligible community organisations to fuel local Yes efforts and the Yes alliance of campaign outfits.
AICR co-chair Rachel Perkins said: “The cause of Constitutional recognition is a long and storied one. It has been driven by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and encouraged by the support of political leaders of all traditions for more than a generation.
“This year, the people of Australia will finally have the chance to say Yes to recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Constitution with a Voice to Parliament.
“The campaign now has tremendous momentum as we head towards a referendum later this year that offers a chance for a moment of national unity unparalleled in modern Australia.”
Paul Ramsay Foundation Director and Kuku Yalanji woman, Natalie Walker said: “We are pleased to be pledging our support to the Yes campaign for the 2023 Referendum on constitutional recognition.
“The Foundation aims to make a lasting contribution to positive social change in Australia, and supporting an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice is a critical step in ensuring First Nations self-determination.”
Paul Ramsay Foundation Chief Executive Professor Kristy Muir said: “We understand that the best outcomes emerge when the voices of those affected are heard, so we believe that enshrining an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice is vital for stronger communities, and for a stronger nation. We’re proud to support the Yes campaign.”
The Yes campaign launched a new website, yes23.com.au, to support volunteer co-ordination, fundraising, distribution of campaign materials, and voter information over the months ahead.
Yes Director Dean Parkin, a Quandamooka man of Minjerribah, said: “Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia’s Constitution has been discussed in political circles very intensely in recent months.
“It’s time to bring that conversation to where it belongs, and back to where it started – with the people of Australia.
“We are now starting the work of welcoming people into that conversation and the millions of discussions that are going to happen across Australia – from kitchen tables to sporting clubs and from farmyards to beachfronts – over the course of 2023, towards landing with a successful Yes vote that will bring the country together.”
Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition Ltd is the fundraising, governance, and organising vehicle for the Yes alliance of campaign organisations. Funds raised by AICR will be allocated by the board to organisations active in the broader Yes movement, and to support community liaison, field operations, and advertising.