A Wiradjuri man who was born and raised on Nanima Reserve, near Wellington. Roy Ah-See grew up with a single Mum and eight siblings in a welfare dependant environment. He became a product of that environment, which lead to antisocial behaviour and alcohol abuse. At the age 18 Roy was incarcerated and looking at a long custodial sentence. Roy Ah-See is my special guest after 8am this morning.
The architects of the Uluru Statement and First Nations leaders have launched Start a Yarn, a national program which invites the Australian public to participate in online Yarning Circles to increase awareness and understanding of the First Nations Voice ahead of the referendum.
Start a Yarn sessions have commenced from Saturday 18 February and run intensively during the Voice Week of Action, then on demand until the referendum. Each session will run for around 70 minutes and are suitable for individuals, workplaces and community groups.
Professor Megan Davis, Balnaves Chair in Constitutional Law at UNSW and Uluru Dialogue Co-Chair, said the yarning circles will provide the Australian public with the information they need to Start a Yarn with their families, friends and workmates.
“Many Australians have heard the Voice being discussed in the national conversation but don’t know much about the Dialogue process or the 12-year journey to a referendum,” Professor Davis said.
“Start a Yarn provides an opportunity for Australians to hear directly from the architects of the Uluru Dialogues about the process that led to a grassroots consensus from First Nations Peoples on the need for an enshrined Voice.”
“We find that when people learn the background of the Voice and listen to First Peoples share why they think the Voice will make a difference, the overwhelming majority are very supportive.”
“It’s important as we move towards a referendum, we give Australians every chance to learn about the Voice in a mutually respectful space. That’s why we are hosting these Start a Yarn sessions.”
“This is a really exciting time for both First Nations Peoples and the wider Australian public. It’s a real opportunity for us to come together and take a step toward a brighter future for the whole country.”
Uluru Dialogue Co-Chair Pat Anderson AO said Start a Yarn offers Australians the chance to hear how the proposal for the Voice came about through the Uluru Statement, and how it will help unite the nation.
“Through Start a Yarn, we hope to be able to give people a better understanding of what the Voice is all about while also providing a genuine cultural experience.
“According to a recent poll, eighty per cent of First Peoples support a First Nations Voice. We’re committed to doing everything we can to provide the Australian people with the information they need to make an informed choice. We’re asking the public to walk with us on this journey to constitutional reform.”
“This referendum is not about politicians, it’s not about government. It’s about every Australian. You will decide. So, if you would like to know more, register your interest and let’s start yarning.”
Roy is a First Nation’s story telling expert and a proud descendant of the Wiradjuri Nation. A successful entrepreneur, a storyteller, a social and emotional wellbeing advocate, a survivor of welfare dependency.
His story is to inspire others. As a life coach and a recognised international speaker, Roy has presented and spoken to audiences as large as 65,000 people and has represented Australia’s First Nation Peoples at the United Nations in both New York and Geneva.
If you have a dream, you have a vision.
An uncle of Roy’s became his guide and advised him about the need to turn his life around if he wanted to achieve his dreams, aspirations and goals. Roy listened to that advice and went to University as a mature age student and graduated with a degree in Social Welfare. He went on to work at various government agencies and at NSWALC as a Policy Officer.
Roy has told his story at many levels nationally and internationally. In 2015 he spoke in front of 65,000 people from all around the world. He’s presented papers at the United Nations (U.N) in Geneva Switzerland and New York City on issues ranging from human rights, social justice, self-determination and economic empowerment for the first peoples of this country.
Roy is happily married. His son is a podiatrist and his daughter is a lawyer.
Anyone interested in taking part can register at
https://ulurustatement.org/education/start-a-yarn/. For more information on the Uluṟu Statement from the Heart, visit https://ulurustatement.org/