This week Australia will vote in the first referendum of this century. I implore you to write yes on your ballot.
The polls don’t look hopeful, but if there is one thing that editing this paper has taught me, it is that things can all come together right at the end. This (seemingly miraculous) coming together happens because people care and work hard. I think the same thing can happen in this referendum.
A yes result is well within our reach — it will just take a hell of a lot of conversations before October 14th to achieve. This week I was lucky to speak with Senator Malarndirri McCarthy about the upcoming referendum. I asked how she was feeling about it all, and she replied “I’m excited. When I visit the polling booths Yes people are always so happy, so excited. The No campaigners I’ve seen at the booths are a miserable bunch.”
“People voting can feel that.”
It’s been ringing around in my head ever since. History is often viewed as this amorphous blob of inevitability, a deterministic marching through time and space that is changed by the powerful, so there’s not much use in the rest of us trying. I disagree. I believe in a politics of hope, a politics of care — a politics that begins with curiosity, conversations, and leaving a space at your table.
You may dismiss this as juvenile, idealistic mushy crap. I don’t want you to think that this politics is blind positivity. Fury, anger, disgust — these are core tenets in the politics of hope and care. Screaming against injustices and imagining new systems, crumbling in defeat, wondering how to live another day, and then being rebuilt by the people around you who lend shoulders, tissues, and frozen lasagnes. This is hope and care. This is where change is born.
I believe in this because I see people engage in it daily — indeed, this paper is one such iteration of it.
In this edition, Luke Cass debunks labelling the voice as “divisive” (p. 7), anonymous breaks into International House and is transported back to an era where the student experience mattered to University management (p. 11), and Bipasha Chakraborty examines menstrual support (p. 10). Sam Han finds community in a hardcore moshpit (p. 18) while Jayden Nguyen decolonises Cabramatta and builds the case for refugee and First Nations solidarity. Honi Soit’s final word on the Voice pleads you to vote yes (p. 6).
If Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were the only ones voting in this referendum, the result would be a resounding yes. All settlers who are voting no, or still undecided, should remember this.
The sun will rise on October 15th. I hope it will rise over a nation who has voted yes, who has acknowledged the ongoing genocide White Australia has inflicted every day since invasion. Whatever the result, a no or a yes, we must continue to fight against these systematic injustices that silence truth.
Always was and always will be Aboriginal Land.