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Big yes campaign push nationwide for Voice

Kathryn Magann -

Many thousands have turned out at rallies nationwide to back the Indigenous Voice to parliament, with organisers hoping momentum will build despite recent polls showing a decline in the yes vote.

Welcome to Country and smoking ceremonies kicked off the day of action on Sunday with Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney addressing a crowd at the Brisbane Yes23 event.

She made an impassioned plea for the yes vote, saying the Voice would make a practical difference to the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

"How often do we get the chance to put our shoulder against the wheel of history and give it a bit of a shove?" Ms Burney asked the crowd.

"It comes once a lifetime and this is our time. This is about moving Australia forward for everyone."

Hundreds of people lined the steps at the Emma Miller Place park on Roma St to listen to speeches and watch cultural performances.

Similar "Come Together for Yes" events were held in other cities, with several thousand people turning out to enjoy the winter sun at Prince Alfred Park in the Sydney CBD, many with home-made placards promoting a yes vote.

Co-founder of the Yes23 campaign, Rachel Perkins told the ABC at the Sydney event that the latest polls showing a decline in the yes vote did not reflect the reality on the ground.

"You don't necessarily see it on television. You don't see it in the newspapers, but there are conversations happening around kitchen tables, in sporting clubs, in workplaces around the country," she said.

"And that's just going to grow."

At the University of Wollongong, Jaymee Beveridge from the Woolyungah Indigenous Centre told those gathered the campaign was a long game.

""We are exhausted but we are hopeful warriors," she said.

"Your Yes vote will contribute to the fibre that can weave us together as a nation."

Victorian rallies drew big crowds at the trade halls in Melbourne and Ballarat

In Canberra Ngunnawal elder Aunty Violet urged the crowd to vote yes to change Indigenous lives.

"We're asking all Australians to walk beside us - vote yes for a better future," she told those rugged up against the chill.

Food trucks, coffee vans and kids entertainment were on offer at most sites with organisers keen to get people to come and listen to speakers discuss what the upcoming referendum meant for them and their communities.

A referendum is expected to be held later this year.

Kathryn Magann - AAP

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