Image: From the Heart's Dean Parkin says the voice campaign will be won in the community, not in the media. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)
A leading Indigenous activist is urging Australians to start having a conversation about constitutional recognition with their friends and family, rather than focus on political pointscoring in the media.
From the Heart director Dean Parkin says the referendum will come down to the principle of having an Indigenous voice to parliament enshrined in the constitution and the model will come later.
“Let’s just turn down some of the noise and remind ourselves the simplicity of what this is,” he said.
“Finally, after 235 years of the modern Australian nation, we get to recognise a very simple fact – 65,000 years of continuous culture.”
Mr Parkin said it was time for action and, while talking heads in the media would continue, it wasn’t where the fight would be won.
“We have to get out into the communities, onto the ground and amplify this conversation as much as we can,” he said.
“There’ll be … the opportunity to try and score points one way or the other.”
He said Australians who didn’t understand the concept wanted to be invited along on the journey.
“They might not even necessarily be saying ‘yes’ at this point in time, but they want to feel included,” he said.
“We want to welcome them with open arms and create spaces for that to happen.”
Mr Parkin spoke at the launch of a new cross parliamentary group established to support the Uluru statement of the heart.
Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney told the meeting people needed to band together to help make the vote succeed.
“It is about bringing this country together, unifying us in a way that’s never been done before,” she said.
Tasmanian Liberal MP Bridget Archer said she was committed to addressing the “painful history of colonialism and dispossession in my state”.
“I commit to walking with you into hopefully, a brighter future together,” she said.
Ms Archer’s comments go further than many in her party, with the Liberals still deliberating on whether to support the referendum or not.
Indigenous senator Pat Dodson said his community only want a voice “so we can tell you when things are not right and they they can be improved”.