Fake Voice Letter sent to North West Victorians

By Senator Jana Stewart's Office: (03) 9070 1920

12 September 2023

Senator Jana Stewart
Mutthi Mutthi and Wamba Wamba
Labor Senator for Victoria


I felt sick when I first heard about the fake letter pretending to be from the First Peoples Assembly of Victoria. The matter has been referred to the police.


Every Victorian should be furious about the dirty tactics from the no campaign, and I hope that the member for Mallee will join me in condemning this behaviour. Victorians in the North West deserve better.


Outright lies like this are why it is so important that Victorian’s are armed with the facts. The peddling of misinformation about Aboriginal affairs in our state does our democracy a huge disservice.


The no campaign has resorted to lies and fear mongering because they know that when people have the facts they are saying yes.


This referendum is about recognition the oldest continuous culture of 65,000 years in the world in our 120 year old constitution. A rich history that every Australian can take tremendous pride in.


And of course, it is about listening. Listening to Aboriginal people about matters that affect our lives, so governments can make better decisions to address the challenges facing Aboriginal people in this country. It’s not rocket science.


Growing up, I sat in a classroom at Swan Hill college with a life expectancy over a decade less than my classmates and a starting point 1km back in a 100m race for me to succeed in life. My 7-year-old son sits in a classroom with his classmates with a seven to eight year gap and statistics that tell us he is more likely to go to prison than to university. This is in our country, this is today.


This is not just about me, this is also the same for the First Nations people in your footy and netball teams (my brother, Jospeh Kelly, took out the equal best and fairest in the central Murray league last year), in your workplaces, friends with your kids at primary school and serving you in stores. We are people in your community - our community.


I want every Australian family to thrive and be healthy and saying yes in this referendum provides that chance. Saying yes in this referendum will lead to practical progress.


This year, through the referendum, First Nations people around the country are putting trust in our communities to do the right thing.


Saying yes on October 14 is saying every Australian deserves a fair go.


We’ve had enough with the dodgy tactics of the no campaign. Let’s stand together and show that our community is better than that.


We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.