Noel Pearson: Architect of The Voice’s Yes campaign says Australia Day should stay on January 26
A leading Yes campaigner for the Voice referendum has explained why he thinks Australia Day should remain on its current controversial date.
Indigenous activist and lawyer Noel Pearson, one of the architects of the Voice proposal, said he believed the two days leading up to January 26 should be transformed into days of recognition of the Australia that existed before the arrival of the British in 1788.
2 GB Ben Fordham asked Pearson on Friday if The Voice would give advice on controversial topics.
“Do you think the voice will tell you the date of Australia Day, or the flag, or the national anthem?” asked Fordham.
Pearson responded: “These debates will continue and indigenous people will have their views. »
“You know what my point of view is? We must (sic) keep January 26th.
“I would like January 25 to be the day we recognize Australia before the British come,” he added.
“I think January 24 and 25 are dates when we should recognize Australia before and Australia after.”
“But that’s my point of view, isn’t it. That’s just a point of view from someone like me,” Pearson said.
Fordham then questioned the Indigenous activist about Welcome to Country practices carried out before the events.
“Do you think these things are sometimes exaggerated and lose some of their original meaning? » he questioned.
Indigenous leader Noel Pearson (pictured) told 2GB’s Ben Fordham on Friday that he believed January 24 and 25 should become days of recognition.
“We must (sic) keep January 26,” said the yes campaigner, before explaining that debates on these subjects will likely continue (stock image)
Pearson said the recognition becoming common practice was an “important development” in taking a “sensible approach to rituals”.
“I think it’s a big development, New Zealand is doing similar things, Canada is doing similar rituals – I think we’re still in a learning phase here in Australia.”
“Following this referendum I think we should (sic) come to a consensus on the occasions in which we use hospitality.”
The talk show host then cuts Pearson off, asking if, in the “fair dinkum department,” the welcome line had been overused.
“Yeah,” Pearson laughed.
“We need to take a common-sense approach to these things.”