Media Release

14 September 2023

Ghillar, Michael Anderson, Convenor of the Sovereign Union, last surviving member of the founding four of the Aboriginal Embassy and Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic provides an insight into the interplay of the Yes/No cases for the referendum. In a previous article Ghillar has already warned that Acquiescence to the Voice threatens First Nations assertions of sovereignty, as the international community will view acquiescence as consent to be governed by the colonial power.
Ghillar Michael Anderson
Ghillar Michael Anderson, Euahaliya

Ghillar states: “I am astounded at so much doublespeak on issues involving the approaching referendum, the Yes/No campaign for First Nations Peoples to be included in the Constitution and a Voice to Parliament and Executive Government.

“Let’s make it clear there are two aspects to the proposed referendum:

“One is recognition of First Nations Peoples to be included in the Constitution. This point raises the question of rights that flow from being the First Nations who have suffered genocide. Genocide by its very definition requires that aspects of genocide as defined in the 1948 Genocide Convention must be proven and the proof here is that the mass killings were perpetrate by squatters. This amounts to murder and no one was prosecuted except for the Myall Creek Massacre and a few others.

“But genocide is involved when we can prove that it was a government objective, but no-one wants to talk about the government policies and resultant impacts on Aboriginal Peoples throughout this Country.

This is why Aboriginal people have established slogans such as: ‘GrandTheft’; ‘Australia is a Crime Scene’; ‘The Crown Must be Held Accountable’. All of this can be proven by the governments’ statutes and policies. If we had a Nuremberg type trial in Australia today all those persons and the current government administrators could be forced to be accountable for administering policies that are genocidal by their operations.

“Does the federal government truly believe that a clause in the Australian Constitution recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples will wash the stain of the blood of our ancestors from the land? Do they think that all their laws can protect them from benefitting from these crimes, and that we are not worthy to be fully reparated and compensated for these criminal acts?

“The Mabo decision of 1992, which ruled that “it is too late in the day” to correct the past wrongs cannot be an excuse. In fact, the High Court and everyone else in legal and political circles know and understand that there is no statute of limitation for murder, and the governments which established the policies and legislation that permitted genocide to occur in the country cannot be protected by recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution.

“Secondly, the Voice as proposed is only a guarantee that there will be an organisation to advise government on issues that they should be dealing with now, anyway, e.g. education, health, housing.

“I laugh at the notion of the idea that a group of selected elite First Nations people will have the suggested impact of improving the lives and wellbeing of First Nations, particularly when PM Albanese says governments will not have to take the advice from the Voice if they disagree with it.

“So let me just examine two possible scenarios for refusing to agree with the advice.

“Firstly, if the advice from the Voice requires any type of confrontation between State and Commonwealth jurisdictions, the Executive Government will have to have some serious thoughts about introducing legislation that has the potential to impact on State and Territory jurisdictions in respect to governance.

“The second serious issue that has to be considered is that the Governor-General of Australia is the Grand Master of Ceremonies, a position granted to him by the Australia Act 1986, an act that only separated Australia from the jurisdiction of the British Parliament, but not from the Crown. At the same time the Australia Act legislated for seven Queens of Australia, so who is the sovereign head of this country? This to me is doublespeak, because in doing this the Australia Acthas maintained a foreigner, whose sovereignty underpins the legal status of Australia as a country. How can Australia really be separated from the jurisdiction of the British Parliament, which is the body that holds the jurisdictional authority for the Australian Constitution? That is, the Australian Constitution 1901 is an imperial act of the British Parliament and the Australian Parliament has no legal right to repeal or rescind this Constitution, because it belongs to a foreign power, Britain. The head of the foreign power, now King Charles III, is the same sovereign head of government in Australia.

“The conundrum is that Australia does not have independent sovereignty because Australian governments now exercise sovereign decision-making powers with the blessing of the new King of England. The fact that the Governor-general assented to this referendum going ahead comes on some very shaky grounds.

“One would have thought that if the Albanese government wanted to seek true bipartisan support for this referendum, I personally believe that first he should have exercised the leadership of a true statesman by getting the Premiers and Chief Ministers of the States and Territories to support a constitutional change of the type now being sought.

“I believe that we are confronted with a whole lot of legal uncertainty as this house which they are building is being built on sand with glass walls and ceiling. The referendum, I believe, if successful will be easily shattered by virtue of the fact the legal uncertainties are insurmountable.

“If successful, our First Nations Peoples do have a legal pathway to hold the Executive Government of Australia accountable, if the federal government refuses the advice from the Voice and the only people who can make a decision on the rights and wrongs will be the judges in the High Court of Australia. In terms of Commonwealth and State jurisdictions the High Court may find itself log-jammed with conflict.

“In the meantime, the federal government carries on the administration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs in the same way it does now, and so the progress of improving the status of First Nations Peoples can be held up, whilst all the legals are being sorted out. Some may say this will not happen but history has shown us that if you start off on the wrong foot you will not march in time.

“So how do you correct a situation like that? You halt the march and start over.

“What we are confronted with now is not a halt or correcting anything. They are just halting the march and will put people in positions who will remain out of step. If the Closing The Gap reports do not improve over the next three years, the government will not be held accountable instead it will be those heading the Voice

“Talk about set up to fail - it’s a joke and a scam.

“Should the referendum fail I believe that the Albanese government will legislate a Voice of some kind. How can he do it, one may ask. The mandate was given in the 1967 Referendum and they have no idea where First Nations Peoples fit in this society and how to deal with past wrongs.

“We are not going away and the wrongs will continue until they are truly addressed through reparation. We don’t need a Voice for that. It’s a right.”

Ghillar, Michael AndersonContact: Ghillar Michael Anderson
Convenor of the Sovereign Union,
Head of State of the Euahlayi Peoples Republic
Contact Details here