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Optimism remains for future Voice despite landslide rejection, Yes23 leaders say

Jarred Cross -

Key figures driving the push for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament say their work didn't end with October's unsuccessful referendum.

In a virtual town hall meeting on Monday, Yes23 organisation leaders told online attendees the organisation would remain active, with aspirations to continue building upon the work done to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues.

More than 1000 people joined the meeting, according to reports.

Voice to Parliament framework drew largely from the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which Prime Minister Anthony Albanese committed to implement in full.

While the nation overwhelmingly rejected the proposed constitutional change on October 14, some positive outlook remains.

"The Uluru Statement stands, absolutely," Yes23 co-chair Rachel Perkins said, according to the Guardian.

"That aspiration of a voice will remain. It may not be achieved by referendum but it will be achieved."

Ms Perkins said the result would be looked back on as an opportunity missed by future generations.

It came as the AEC confirmed its official count ending with a 60-40 split in favour of the 'no' case.

The ACT was the only jurisdiction to return a preference for altering the constitutional change, while Queensland presented the most resistance with just 32 per cent voting 'yes'.

The result spurred a backflip on Treaty in Queensland from LNP opposition leader David Crisafulli.

Ms Perkins said hurdles places in front of negotiations across the country was "disappointing" to see, and something "we were always very worried about".

In the days following the referendum many First Nations Voice supporters observed a 'week of silence'.

It came with passionate criticism of the no campaign, but also an expression of "faith that the upwelling of support through this Referendum has ignited a fire for many to walk with us on our journey towards justice", in a joint-statement from unknown signatories.

Mr Albanese had also said "it is now up to all of us to come together and find a different way to the same reconciled destination" with Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney said she would engage in consultations to arrive at "next steps" forward.

The Financial Review reported that Yes23 director Dean Parkin said the failure to drive a majority 'yes' in any state was a "very, very hard result to take".

Mr Parkin also said "the organisation as a whole will continue" once a "next phase" is decided upon by Indigenous leaders, the Guardian reported.

"We don't have a timeline that we can say this is when it's going to happen … I'd just ask people to have patience," he said.

"Stick around, keep the motor warm, keep the motor revving along so when w tap you on the shoulder to go again, you're ready to go."

Yes23 campaigner Jade Ritchie said their efforts mobilised "a movement for Indigenous rights and justice that's 6.2 million people strong and will only grow bigger", and pointed to millions of votes drawn from volunteer work.

Thomas Mayo said: "we're not far off if we keep working towards it".

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