A new advertisement by the Yes23 campaign, advocating for support of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament in the upcoming referendum, has ignited controversy with its assertion that Indigenous Australians have gone unheard for the "last 250 years."
Critics have swiftly labeled the claim as "false and insulting."
The $20 million advertising blitz, unveiled on Tuesday night, features a polished TV commercial showcasing images of joyful Aboriginal Australians and children at play.
The ad begins with the statement:
"Teams listen to their coaches, children listen to their parents, well, some of the time. When we listen, we understand. When we understand, we can help."
Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney shared the ad on X (formerly Twitter), emphasising, "We know that listening works."
Nevertheless, prominent figures, such as Senator Jacinta Price and radio host Ben Fordham, have criticised the campaign's assertion.
Fordham cited historical instances where Australia did listen to Indigenous grievances, including the national apology to the stolen generation in 2008 and the return of Wave Hill station to the Gurindji people.
Fordham questioned how the "false" claim was approved for the advertising campaign and expressed disbelief, asking, "Why did we make a national apology to the stolen generation...because we have listened."