- by cnn
- 29 Sep 2023
Before Australians last voted in a referendum on First Nations people in 1967, Uncle Bob Anderson set up a table and chair at a tram stop in central Brisbane.
From his rail-side office, he'd tell anyone who would stop and listen that Australia counted its horses, cows, sheep and goats, but not its Indigenous people. "My question to you is, do you think they should be?" he'd say.
Some 56 years later, the Ngugi Elder sat on a chair under the hot Brisbane sun on Sunday, his wispy white hair covered in a straw hat, his presence a sign of support for another referendum concerning his people.
Nearby, thousands of people gathered for "Walk for Yes" rallies in multiple cities around Australia ahead of the October 14 vote.
On that day, some 17.5 million registered voters will be asked whether Australia should change the constitution to include a permanent body made up of First Nations people to advise the government on matters affecting them.
Now 94, Uncle Bob says a Yes vote isn't just important for him but the country.
"By talking and walking together as a nation and as a society, we will share a common destiny," he said.
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