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Uluru Youth Dialogue plans to louden young voices with pre-referendum youth conference

Jarred Cross -

Uluru Youth Dialogue co-chair and Wiradjuri woman Bridget Cama says within the political debate and public discourse regarding the Voice to Parliament, the standpoint of those to whom it will impact the most is being left out of the conversation - young people.

She and fellow co-chair Allira Davis are spearheading the Hands on Heart National Youth Voice Conference to give young Australians access to education on the referendum proposal and to have their views heard.

Ms Cama, 28, says the Youth Dialogue was set up within the Uluru Statement movement for that purpose.

She said the political space is one where young people "are super active".

"At the end of the day, the outcome of this referendum is going to impact us and our futures the most out of everybody in Australia," she told National Indigenous Times.

"We want positive change, and we don't want to continue having the same conversations that our old people have had. We want to keep moving forward."

Ms Cama said young people are feeling the "heaviness of the result on our shoulders" months out from the nation casting their vote.

The conference aims to deliver a space for discussion and fact-based information for equipping people with tools for better understanding the Voice and to have informed conversations with their communities in the lead up to the referendum.

The three days are hosted in partnership with UNICEF Australia, the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network and the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition on Gadigal Land.

Organisations across the country have been invited to nominate five young people from within their doors to attend the conference.

Uluru Dialogue Co-Chairs and architects of the Uluru Statement Professor Megan Davis and Pat Anderson will speak at the event.

"We don't go to a referendum every day, especially one of significance that has the ability to change the future of our nation. So organisations have the ability to support young people to come along and attend this, and then take all of that knowledge back to their organisations, communities and networks that they work in every day," Ms Cama said.

Ms Cama said her group have offered information to schools with presentations and yarning circles for those 17 years and younger who won't be casting a vote, but will realise the decision being made.

The Hands on Heart Conference is scheduled for August 24-27 at the International Towers in Barangaroo.


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