How do I want to feel when I wake up on October 15?

Margie Brace, Kerry O’Brien and Paula Coghill on stage talking about the Voice at the Kyogle Bowling Club.

Susanna Freymark

TV journalist Kerry O’Brien and Casino elder Paula Coghill spoke about the Voice referendum at the Kyogle Bowling Club on Sunday, September 24.

The Kyogle Politics in the Pub group organised the event and member Margie Brace was on the stage to ask questions.

About 150 people were there to hear about the Voice.

Ms Coghill read out the Uluru Statement from the Heart which informed the Voice to Parliament.

“The Voice is about permanence so no government can overturn it,” Ms Coghill said.

Mr O’Brien spoke about his early reporting career.

“I grew up in complete ignorance of Indigenous history and Indigenous presence,” he said.

“In 1970, I went to Alice Springs for the first time as a journo. I walked the streets and talked to people to come to terms with my shock of what I saw and what I was learning.”

A few years later Mr O’Brien went back for the ABC’s Four Corners.

He has learnt a lot, he said. And that learning led him to write a book with Thomas Mayo about the Voice and why it matters.

“To allow Indigenous people to have a Voice is the fundamental right of our democracy,” he said.

“It has been impossible for me to not be invested in this.

“How do I want to feel when I wake up on October 15?”

Mr O’Brien addressed one of the issues he had heard on his travels around Australia talking about voting Yes to the Voice.

“There are Indigenous people who say – I’m not going to vote because I wasn’t consulted.

“1200 delegates were involved from across Australia,” he said.

There are 800,000 Indigenous people (in Australia) and 100 delegates from each region were consulted, Mr O’Brien said.

“The Voice will give independent advice from Indigenous communities to the government.”

IndyNR.com has not heard of any No to the Voice events in Richmond Valley or Kyogle LGAs. If you are interested in why some people are choosing to vote No in the referendum, senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price will be speaking at a public meeting at the Ballina RSL today, Tuesday, September 26 at 5.30pm.

Politics in the Pub Kyogle organised the Voice talk.

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