Helen Secretary, chair of the Gwalwa Dariniki Association and a respected Indigenous leader from Darwin, has questioned Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's assertion that over 80 per cent of Indigenous Australians are in favour of the Voice to Parliament proposal.
"Their perspective doesn't reflect the majority opinion among Indigenous people. Many in the Northern Territory remain uninformed about the Voice, opting instead for a Treaty," Secretary stated in a recent interview with Sky News Australia.
Albanese's claim is supported by a YouGov survey from March and an Ipsos poll from January. However, Secretary doubts the comprehensiveness of these polls, especially concerning the engagement of Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory.
"The understanding is simply not there," she pointed out.
Secretary, of Larrakia and Tiwi descent, strongly opposes the Voice initiative for several reasons.
"We already have Indigenous senators and MPs who should represent us. It's unrealistic to assume one national Voice could adequately represent the diverse Indigenous clan groups," she explained.
According to Secretary, her people have been pushing for a Treaty that would empower them to manage their own affairs. This quest started with the Larrakia petition in 1972 and gained momentum when a crown lease was granted over Kulaluk and Minmarama communities in Darwin in 1979.
"We want the Federal Government to negotiate Treaties with individual tribes focused on economic development. A parliamentary Voice is redundant; we are our own voice," she asserted.
Secretary, whose father immigrated from Greece, also raised concerns that the ongoing debate on the Voice is causing national division.
"We should take pride in being a multicultural country, rather than fostering division," she concluded.