Former basketball star Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal appeared at a press conference yesterday with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney, in support of an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
O’Neal’s appearance is part of the Government’s campaign to mobilise public favour for a referendum for the Voice, an Indigenous-led constitutional amendment proposal that has been plagued with pushback and delays from previous Coalition governments.
“He [O’Neal] wanted to inform himself about what this debate was about by engaging directly with the Minister for Indigenous Affairs and with myself as the Prime Minister,” Albanese said.
Albanese said that the government has been engaging with sporting organisations such as the AFL and the NRL as part of its campaign, to inform young people in particular about the Voice to Parliament.
Burney also described the Voice as “an act of common decency and good manners”.
“A Voice will be about our birth certificate and it will be about all Australians, but it will also be about practical things,” said Burney.
“It will be about improving the life choices and chances of First Nations people, whether it be life expectancy, incarceration, housing, or education,” she said.
Currently, the proposed referendum question is: “Do you support an alteration to the constitution that establishes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice?”