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Garigarra Riley-Mundine speaks out against anti-Voice campaign led by her father

Callan Morse -

The daughter of prominent No campaigner, Nyunggai Warren Mundine, has spoken out in support of the Voice to Parliament.

Garigarra Riley-Mundine, one of Mr Mundine's seven children, has publicly declared her support for the Voice, saying her father's opposition to the proposed Indigenous advisory body is not "morally right".

"For me it's a moral issue. That I can't stay silent anymore. I have to say something," Ms Mundine told 10 News First.

Ms Riley-Mundine said her father's position on the Voice is at odds with her upbringing and family's values.

"I came from a family where my grandfather was a staunch union man and we were raised in this way where we felt as a family that we had to do everything we could to make sure that future generations had it better than what we've got now," she told Guardian Australia.

"I'm seeing and hearing everything that my father is saying and, although he is entitled completely to his opinions, it really goes against what I feel is morally right and how I've been raised and the family that I come from."

Speaking recently at the National Press Club, Mr Mundine called the Uluru statement from the heart a "symbolic declaration of war against modern Australia", whilst suggesting "most Indigenous Australians are doing fine".

Mr Riley-Mundine, who has Wiradjuri-Kamilaroi and Bundjalung-Yuin heritage, said she found it hurtful to hear her father's comments.

"It hurt because I feel that the Uluru statement came from a place of unity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people," she said.

"We're not trying to take over 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 strengthened, then all of Australia is empowered and strengthened."

Ms Riley-Mundine told Ten News First that "the No campaign has really pushed that the Voice will be divisive", describing their strategy as a "fear campaign".

"The no campaign has a two-pronged approach and both of them are based in fear – fear that a voice to parliament will be too powerful, that giving Indigenous people a voice enshrined in the constitution will have negative consequences for the wider community (and) that this is just another way for the government to control Aboriginal people, take away our sovereignty – and that's not what it is," Ms Riley-Mundine told Guardian Australia.

She said she sees the Voice as an opportunity for self-determination for First Nations peoples.

"I see the Voice to parliament and the Uluru statement from the heart as an outstretched hand to say, 'Help us help ourselves. We want to have a voice in our future and in the policies and programs that affect us,'" she said.

Mr Mundine has yet to respond to Ms Riley-Mundine's views.


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