The daughter of leading No campaigner Warren Mundine has spoken out strongly in support of The Voice, accusing her father of not doing what is “morally right”.
Garigarra Riley-Mundine, 31, is one of seven children Mundine had with his ex-wife and Indigenous educator Dr Lynette Riley during a 26-year marriage which ended in divorce in 2008.
Ms Riley-Mundine said her father’s opposition to The Voice “goes against what I consider to be morally right, the way I was raised and the family I come from”.
She said the family values passed down from her grandfather, “a staunch trade unionist”, were to “do everything we can to ensure that future generations have a better life than we have today”.
Warren Mundine’s daughter Garigarra Riley-Mundine has strongly rejected her father’s views on Indigenous Voice to Parliament
In a speech to the National Press Club on Tuesday, Mr Mundine described the Uluru Statement from the Heart, the document that calls for the Voice, as a “symbolic declaration of war”.
Ms Riley-Mundine, who said The Guardian she does not have “a strong relationship with her father”, and has strongly rejected this claim.
“It hurt me because I feel like the Uluru Statement came from a place of unity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” she says.
“We’re not trying to take ownership of anything; we are literally just asking for a voice.
“And we just want to unite this country, because when we are empowered and our communities are empowered, then all of Australia is empowered and empowered.”
Ms Riley-Mundine accused her father and other No supporters of waging a dual fear campaign.
She said they told non-Indigenous Australians that the Voice would have negative ramifications for the wider community, but they also told Indigenous Australians that it would allow the government to control them and take away their sovereignty .
However, she insisted that the proposal was entirely positive.
“I see the Voice to Parliament and the Uluru Statement from the Heart as an outstretched hand to say: “Help us to help ourselves. We want to have a voice in our future and in the policies and programs that affect us, Ms. Riley,” Mundine said.
Ms Riley-Mundine also expressed disappointment at her father’s failure to denounce a comedy act at the right-wing CPAC event in August, which “acknowledged” the traditional owners of “violent black men”.
“Corporate comedian” Rodney Marks also described famous First Fleet contact Bennelong as a “woman basher” during the “comedy sketch”.
Mr Mundine (pictured right with fellow No Advocate Jacinta Price) led the fight against The Voice.
Karen Mundine, who is Mr Mundine’s niece, spoke strongly in favor of yes.
“(Warren Mundine) must surely have been hurt by those words. I can’t imagine any black man who wouldn’t have been hurt by those words,” Ms Mundine said.
“I found it really difficult to hear. As a black woman, these things are obviously close to my heart, regardless of my relationships, but being surrounded by strong black men that I love, my heart aches to hear these words.
In a speech to the National Press Club on Tuesday, Mr Mundine said comedians “have the freedom to do comedy and make jokes” and that the Voice referendum, which takes place on October 14, had already bitterly divided the community.
Ms Riley-Mundine, who lives in Canberra with her husband and 10-week-old son, also believed the referendum debate had been divisive and she said her “heart goes out” to everyone suffering from mental health issues because of this.
“There were a lot of divided voices raised in this referendum and I think as a nation we need to go through a healing process after this,” she said.
“By voting yes, we can show people that this is something of love and this is something of hope and that there is nothing to be afraid of.”
The Mundine family publicly split on Voice with Warren Mundine’s niece Karen Mundine strongly supports the Yes campaign and says her late mother Kaye, who is Mr Mundine’s sister, would too.
Karen, CEO of Reconciliation of Australia, suggested the family could be splitting up over their political views.
“Will people be that close?” I don’t know at the moment. It’s hard to say,” she said.
The most high-profile member of the Mundine family, former boxing champion and NRL superstar Anthony, who is Warren’s first cousin, also plans to vote no.
He described the Voice as a “pure hoax.”
Former boxer and NRL star Anthony Mundine supports uncle in opposition to Voice to Parliament
Karen also claimed that her mother Kaye, a champion of indigenous rights who died in 2016 at the age of 69, would disagree with her brother, with whom she used to “lock horns… a lot “.
“She would hate all this debate,” she said.
Karen said her uncle had a direct impact on her childhood and “helped raise her” and that she loved and respected him.
“He has a point of view and he defends it, but I totally disagree with that point of view,” she said.
The campaign’s growing divisions have led to abuse directed at Reconciliation Australia, the organization she has led since 2017.
They were bombarded with abusive calls and messages on social media and even received “an unsigned threat”.
One of his female colleagues, who was going door to door for the Yes campaign, also had a cup of hot coffee thrown at her.
Mr Mundine, 67, previously told Daily Mail Australia that Voice had not had an impact on relationships within the family.
“In our family there is a wide range of opinions, just like in any other family,” he told Daily Mail Australia.