Say Yes: A story of Friendship, fairness and a vote for hope is a perfect book which mixes both history and storytelling to tell us about the 1967 referendum.
Say Yes, is told to us through the eyes of two best friends – one indigenous and the other white. We experience the heartaches, the unfairness, the loneliness and sadness that the indigenous people go through pre 1967 and then the joy – when finally the Australian law was changed to recognise Australia’s indigenous people as people of this land, who deserved to be treated the same as everyone else.
Many children would have little idea about how Australian’s used to treat the Indigenous people of this land and this story tells it perfectly. Using a mix of Paul Seden’s illustrations and real newspaper clippings and photographs we are able to see what happened and the amazing people who were part of this change.
This year, 2017, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum so make sure you share this important event and take the time to read through the notes and explanation on the law that was changes.
What can you do at home or in the classroom?
- Are there any issues today that are still not fair?
- Do you think people’s attitudes are the same or different if compared to 1967?
- Compare how indigenous people would have been treated before and after this referendum.
- Write a letter to a local politician in the time of 1967 – explain to him or her why the law needs to be changed.
- Explore the use of the sentence: It’s just not fair. What isn’t fair and why is it repeated throughout the story?
Take action now
There is still low education achievement outcomes for Indigenous children in Australia. The indigenous children deserve to learn how to read and write as much as any one else does so that they can choose to move out of poverty cycles and educate the next generation.
The Indigenous literacy foundation are an amazing group who raise money and work with indigenous communities. Through their programs they empower communities to learn how to read by giving them books and publishing books that have indigenous links.
We are a national book industry charity, which aims to reduce the disadvantage experienced by children in remote Indigenous communities across Australia, by lifting literacy levels and instilling a lifelong love of reading.
Please check them out at www.ilf.org.au and perhaps even participate in the great book swap in August: www.greatbookswap.org.au