Rod Towney understands the Voice better than most people, in fact, he was there when it was conceived.
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Mr Towney - a Wiradjuri man born on the Nanima reserve near Wellington - is one of 250 delegates who signed the Uluru Statement from the Heart, the document that formally proposed an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
"I was one of the signatories on the statement and it's here if you'd like to come and have a look at it," he said, holding up the document for a crowd who gathered in Dubbo in support of the Voice.
In 2017, hundreds of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders gathered at the base of Uluru to discuss a path to constitutional recognition. The result of that convention was a communique, the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
The document states two broad objectives, the establishment of a First Nations Voice and a Makarrata Commission.
Mr Towney said the Uluru Statement is a "powerful and historic document".
"It means the world to us. It's important because it was adopted unanimously. It didn't come from white people, it came from Aboriginal people from around the country," he said.
"That gathering of the First Nations was historical. Each of the assembled delegates were chosen by our own people in our own communities to represent their views at the convention.
"We often talk about 'bottom up' approaches being what is needed to advance our lot and the convention was an unprecedented example of a national effort being driven from the communities across Australia."
The gathering at Uluru to sign the statement followed a number of meetings around the country attended by local Indigenous leaders, Mr Towney says.
"There was one here in Dubbo, a couple of 100 people came along to the forum and it was a good day," he said.
"We debated, it was rigorous and people came from all over the place.
"Then we were invited to go up to Broome and talk to the people up there and listen to their concerns ... I was very excited and happy to represent this region."
Australia will go to the polls to vote on whether a Voice to Parliament should be enshrined in the constitution on October 14. It's a tough road ahead for the 'Yes' campaign, with recent polling showing support for the Voice had slipped to less than 40 per cent.
But Mr Towney said, in conversations with the community, many people are still open to changing their minds. He said, despite "scaremongering", that "the Voice is simple" - an advisory panel to parliament on issues impacting Indigenous people.
"People need to understand the truth ... I've talked to people who were going to vote 'No' who have changed their mind after a dialogue," he said.
"The suggestion that 'if you don't know, vote no' is absolutely ridiculous because people should do their own research if they can't talk to people.
"All I'm asking for is for people to think about why aren't Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people recognised in the constitution. We should be. We should be recognised."
"We, gathered at the 2017 National Constitutional Convention, coming from all points of the southern sky, make this statement from the heart:
Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign Nations of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and possessed it under our own laws and customs. This our ancestors did, according to the reckoning of our culture, from the Creation, according to the common law from 'time immemorial', and according to science more than 60,000 years ago.
This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or 'mother nature', and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown.
How could it be otherwise? That peoples possessed a land for sixty millennia and this sacred link disappears from world history in merely the last two hundred years?
With substantive constitutional change and structural reform, we believe this ancient sovereignty can shine through as a fuller expression of Australia's nationhood.
Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people. Our children are aliened from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene numbers. They should be our hope for the future.
These dimensions of our crisis tell plainly the structural nature of our problem. This is the torment of our powerlessness.
We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.- The Uluru Statement from the Heart
We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.
We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.
Makarrata is the culmination of our agenda: the coming together after a struggle. It captures our aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia and a better future for our children based on justice and self-determination.
We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history.
In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future."
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