Time to Listen

nXus People supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a constitutionally enshrined First Nations Voice to ParliamentTime to Listen

Despite good intentions from many, Australia has failed its First Nations people.

Indigenous Australians live with the direct consequences of injustice every day, while those of us whose relationship with this continent began in the last 235 years, are at times enraged or indifferent. More often we carry a weary sense of despair and frustration at our collective impotence and lack of progress.    

Although hard to fathom from Australia’s vantage point, the 2023 Democracy index compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit estimates 46% of humankind is living in some form of democracy. This figure has dropped in recent years and only 6.4% of us live in what can be classified as full democratic conditions. Australians can count themselves in this small minority who are able to play a fulsome part in shaping the societies in which they live. 

Australia now finds itself at a critical crossroads and the path we choose to travel will have irrevocable consequences.

The racist vitriol piled on high profile indigenous Australians like Stan Grant and Adam Goodes, who dare to speak the truth, should be a source of burning national disgrace for us all. So should indigenous incarceration rates, life expectancy and the myriad other indicators which clearly tell us what has been tried up to now is not working. 

We talk a lot about the importance of active listening at nXus People. If we are truly listening, we seek first to understand. We allow what we are hearing from others to contextually mix with what we think we already know and we are prepared to learn and adjust, based on new information. 

Despite what we might like to think, this is usually not the human default position. More often, we listen to reply with preconceived views of the world around us. We apply our intellect not for the purpose of understanding each other, but to justify our own biases and established positions. This is the stuff of argument and debate, these days often amplified through the megaphone of social media. It is not what is needed to understand, learn and evolve.

This is a time for actively listening to what the overwhelming majority of First Nations people are asking from the rest of us.

A yes vote for the Statement from the Heart and a constitutionally enshrined First Nations Voice to Parliament does not guarantee progress nor an end to racism – but it will guarantee hope and new possibilities. A no vote will almost certainly result in deeper racial division, unthinkable despair, cultural catastrophe and a trashing of Australia’s international reputation. 

The Voice in an extraordinary gift which offers the potential of a better future for all Australians.

In the lead up to National Reconciliation Week, we are compelled to let our support be known and help get this done.  

nXus People supports acceptance of the invitation from Australia’s First Nations people to walk together and realise the ambitions of the Uluru Statement from the Heart in establishing a First Nations Voice to Parliament.

If you feel similarly and your business is looking for ways to support the Voice, here are a few resources we have found useful.