• Wilfred Williams in Wagga Wagga Recognise (The Point)Source: The Point
As the Recognise campaign makes its way through regional New South Wales, some say it’s not doing enough to connect with Aboriginal communities.
Rachael Hocking

The Point
6 Apr 2016 - 8:16 AM  UPDATED 6 Apr 2016 - 8:22 AM

The government-funded campaign to raise awareness about a referendum to change our constitution was in Wagga Wagga on Tuesday, where roughly 50 people from the community turned up to listen and ask questions.

One local Wiradjuri man told NITV he thinks Recognise is not relating enough to all Aboriginal people.

“They should have people out here speaking from grassroots levels. This is not grassroots,” says Wilfred Williams.

He says there are two things missing from Recognise’s community consultations.

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“They need to come out here and speak in layman’s terms to the people.”

“There’s a mission across the road, and not one person’s here.”

“You really need an advocate to get amongst the people that count.”

Mr Williams says if Recognise wanted to ensure a ‘yes’ vote in a referendum, they need to go out of their way to find the people not coming to their conferences, and speak to them.

Recognise representative Mark Yettica-Paulson said it was easy to confuse the campaign as not grassroots, given it’s government-funded, but he said it remains community focused.

“We have an opportunity here to do something very powerful for our community.”

“And Recognise is supporting it, trying to drive that, and we’re doing that through local conversations.”

 “It’s clearly working to be able to talk to people at grassroots level,” he said.