Thousands gather in Melbourne CBD for Walk for Yes rally

Thousands gather in Melbourne CBD for Walk for Yes rally

September 19, 2023

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Thousands of people carrying placards and wearing T-shirts supporting an Indigenous Voice to parliament have flooded the front lawns of Melbourne’s State Library on Sunday while John Farnham’s anthem, You’re the Voice, blasts from a PA system.

As the Walk for Yes rallies kick off around the country, Indigenous leaders and senior ministers will address the Melbourne crowd before the procession heads down Swanston Street to Federation Square and the Yarra River.

Former AFL star Eddie Betts (left) and Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney at the Walk for Yes rally in Melbourne on Sunday.Credit: Chris Hopkins/The Age

Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney will be joined by First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria co-chair Reuben Berg, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO) CEO Aunty Jill Gallagher, and Uluru Dialogue member Marcus Stewart.

Musicians supporting the Yes campaign will also descend on Federation Square later, with performances by former Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett, rock band Spiderbait, Marlon Motlop and Mia Wray.

The rallies follow the launch of a $20 million advertising blitz on Saturday across all media formats. The advertisement features a young Indigenous boy who asks if he will “grow up in a country that hears my voice”.

Supporters of an Indigenous Voice to parliament show their support in Melbourne.Credit: Chris Hopkins

The launch of the ad marks the beginning of a month-long blitz aiming to turn around polls before the nation heads to the referendum vote on October 14.

The referendum asks Australians if they approve changing the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an advisory committee to be known as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

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