AISV Chairman’s Message

Esteemed Members and Fellow Australians,

Today, I write to you with a call to honour and elevate voices that have resonated on this land for over 60 thousand years, voices that belong to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Their history is steeped in more than 500 distinct cultural groups that thrived here long before Captain Cook’s landing in 1770. They are the proud keepers of the world’s most ancient living culture, yet their voices have often been drowned out in our nation’s Parliament discourse.

As a dedicated medical practitioner, my experiences have unveiled the stark health disparities haunting our Aboriginal communities. Diseases that we can easily prevent or manage, like Rheumatic Heart Disease, are taking our children’s lives more frequently than in the most impoverished nations of Africa. Chronic afflictions such as Diabetes, Chronic Liver disease, lung cancers, bronchus, trachea, and, tragically, intentional self-harm continue to shadow our Aboriginal populace.

In a landmark move, the Albanese Government has introduced the historic “Voice of Parliament” bill this year. This independent advisory body stands to enlighten our Parliament on the unique and pressing issues Indigenous Australians face. However, the bill faces resistance from a right-wing fac tion within the Liberal Government, which could obstruct its passage.

This referendum is a beacon of justice long overdue, and I implore every one of you, especially the Indian Diaspora and all migrant communities who call Australia home, to vote “Yes”. It is incumbent upon us to unite in this cause and en- sure the passage of this referendum, thereby honouring the custodians of the world’s oldest living culture.

On another pressing matter, the escalating war in Ukraine has entered its 16th month, wreaking havoc on Ukraine’s infrastructure and resulting in the tragic loss of thousands of lives. The recent destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam has led to widespread flooding across Southern Ukraine, displacing tens of thousands and wreaking havoc on the natural environment.

As the international community, including NATO and Western allies, provide Ukraine with much needed support, we must remain vigilant about the growing desperation of Mr Putin. His threats to deploy nuclear devices, which include the potential endangerment of Europe’s largest nuclear facility, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station, are deeply concerning.

Mr Putin’s policies echo the destructive path taken by some of history’s most ruthless leaders, such as Adolf Hitler, whose sole aim was to exterminate an entire race and dominate the world.

In these trying times, we must not waver in supporting the Ukrainian people and their courageous wartime president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

My grandson, Luca Aurora, penned a poignant poem on the war that resonates with our current global predicament:


War is a horrible place, dying, dreadful, defeated. No one ever wins in war,

Screaming people, bombs raining down,

Guns getting ready to fire

Loved ones dying amidst screams of pain.

Life or death out there,

Every man for themselves. Violence, death, and stupidity. Innocent people dying, all for nothing,

When will they learn nobody wins in war?

Refugees, protests, guns.

As Michael Franti said, you can bomb the world to pieces, But you cannot bomb the world to peace.

Tanks, bombs, guns. The world will never learn.

All the soldiers and innocent people that have died,

Yet, we still fight.

Remember that our strength lies in unity, hearing each other’s voices, and standing together in the face of ad- versity.

Thank you for your unwavering dedication to these vital matters. With utmost respect

Dr. Gurdip Aurora,
Chairman AISV
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