One of the most empowering experiences anyone can have in life is to be heard and understood by others. On an individual level, the ability to express oneself is an important emotional regulation tool that is a vital part of understanding and being guided by your feelings. When the thoughts and feelings you share with others are understood and acknowledged by those listening to you, the experience of validation can be profound, leading to a sense of empowerment that can drive life changing actions.
Finding Your Voice
We at Prahran Psychology Clinic are always encouraging our clients to find their voice. However, we know that not everyone has the same ability to express themselves. That is why through our work we are always trying to provide people with the tools to better express their thoughts and feelings. For some people, this comes naturally to them. Others need help to find their voice. This is also the case when it comes to the rich tapestry of sociocultural groups that make up our society. For some groups of people, it is much easier to have their voices heard, especially those groups who were involved in the evolution of our government institutions and have adequate representation. For a long time, our first nations peoples were left out of this process and so therefore have not had the same voice that a lot of us take for granted.
Majority groups can tend to take their voice for granted. I know I do. One such example for psychologists is the Australian Psychological Society (APS). Come federal budget time every year I don’t even have to think about whether someone is going in to bat for me and my profession. It just happens. Now you can argue that indigenous people have all kinds of lobby groups and advisors to government that play a similar role. However, obviously this hasn’t resulted in better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strat Islanders and therefore the conclusion must be that something isn’t working, and we need a change. Indigenous recognition and a voice to parliament seems to be a well thought out idea that can help first nations peoples to be better heard. The idea has come from first nations people, and it is a departure from the status quo, which has not worked. Why not try something different?
Vote YES to The Voice
Predictably, the simple idea that a cherished part of our nation needs to be better heard and understood has been politicised. Scaremongering and misinformation unfortunately tend to follow the politicisation of an issue. We have strayed from the fundamental well-meaning idea of helping indigenous people to be better heard. We urge you to get back on track regarding the fundamentals of this matter, ignore the rhetoric and consider the simple idea that a YES vote will help a nation better listen their indigenous people.
Dean Janover Prahran