Final message of 2022 from Mary Crooks AO

Dear friend,

As this year draws to a close, we have an exciting final announcement to make:

In 2023, we will be standing alongside First Australians and running a campaign, Together Yes, in support of a First Nations Voice to parliament. 

We have been in close discussions with Indigenous leaders over the past eight weeks, including Pat Anderson AO (co-chair, the Uluru Dialogues). It is both thrilling and humbling to take up the invitation extended to us all in The Uluru Statement from the Heart to walk together to secure a better future.

So — what is Together Yes? In short, Together Yes will utilise our proven Kitchen Table Conversations model.

Many of you know that we’ve run this process of civic engagement since the late 1990s. It works. The whole thing revolves around a simple and powerful idea: safe, open, respectful and honest dialogue has the power to create real and lasting change. 

Together Yes will encourage huge numbers of people around the country to step up and host small group discussions about colonisation; harm and injustice; the important role of First Nations people and culture in Australia’s identity; and what it would look like to accept an invitation to walk into the future together.

Our past experience tells us that women especially enthusiastically embrace our model of Kitchen Table Conversations. It is a huge opportunity for VWT supporters to sign up to host or co-host a conversation group at this pivotal, defining moment in our history. 

We can’t afford to have this referendum fail. Nor can we allow it to just squeeze through. There is much work to be done. All of us who seek a just outcome need to step up and do some of the heavy lifting.

Stay safe & happy holidays,

Mary Crooks AO Executive director
Victorian Women’s Trust