Young people across the country are being urged to pick up their phone and help persuade their relatives to vote Yes in the upcoming Voice referendum.
The Uluru Dialogue will launch #RingYourRello on Wednesday, a social media campaign it hopes will empower young people to have the “really challenging” but “critical” conversations with their family and friends in the coming weeks.
Uluru Youth co-convener and Wiradjuri woman Bridget Cama said the road to a double majority on October 14 was only possible if thousands of small conversations were had across the country.
As the No campaign seeks to re-establish common ground after leading No campaigner Warren Mundine made comments about treaty and Australia Day at odds with senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, the Yes campaign say they want to spend the last few weeks doing ground-up work.
Support for the Yes campaign has slumped across the country, but with just under four weeks to go until Australians will decide whether to enshrine a First Nations Voice to Parliament in the constitution, Ms Cama said she had faith in young people.
“We always knew that young people were going to play a really important role in the upcoming referendum and sharing information … So we thought we would launch this social media campaign because young people are super passionate about the Voice, from our experiences, and we know that young people are some of the biggest supports when it comes to enshrining a First Nations Voice in the constitution,” Ms Cama said.
“So we’re asking young Australians right across the country to get on the phone and call their relative and just talk to them about the Voice or the upcoming referendum, why it’s important to them as young people and then asking them whether they would support the Voice and vote yes.”
While the latest Newspoll shows Australians aged 18-34 are still the most likely to support the Voice than any other age bracket, support has fallen even there.
The No campaign is picking up support from young people through its use of social media, particularly TikTok. The TikTok account for Advance Australia – the leading No campaign – has almost four times as many followers as Yes campaigns Uluru Statement and Yes23 have combined.
Ms Cama said the Yes campaign would use social media over the coming weeks to “continue to push the facts out there”, and point Australians to further information “so they can make an informed decision”.
The Yes campaign is still confident a majority of young people will overwhelmingly vote Yes on October 14 – and Ms Cama hopes they will have helped convince older relatives to join them.
The latest campaign appeals to young Australians to do four things: “ring your rello, gain consent and hit record, ask questions and for support, and upload the clip and tag us (Uluru Statement)”.
Ms Cama said while older Australians tended to be more set in their views and their ways, young people could act as “kind of circuit breakers”, and bring fresh perspectives by having the “critical conversations”.
“We know that conversations are critical to the yes campaign and to getting a successful vote, but I think that we know that young people will be able to be the carriers of that factual information to their parents, their grandparents and their relatives,” she said.
“And that both those family and friends of those young people actually listen to what they have to say.
“I think young people have the ability to break down those generational barriers, to really just have an open, transparent and respectful conversation about the Voice and the referendum.”
As for why the #RingYourRello campaign was being launched now, after such a long lead-time up to the referendum, Ms Cama said undecided Australians were inching closer to making a decision.
“There’s a lot of people who are open minded and want to hear more information, they just don’t know where to get it,” she said.
Originally published as Uluru Dialogue launches #RingYourRello campaign to bolster Yes vote
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