Image: Yes23

Yes23 Campaign Co-Chair Rachel Perkins Tells Us Why We Need The Voice

Rachel Perkins is a director, producer, screenwriter, presenter, activist – and co-chair of the Yes23 campaign.

She has spent over 30 years working on projects focusing on Australian Aboriginal stories including Jasper Jones and Mystery Road.


Her latest work, The Australian Wars, explores the many frontier wars and genocide that occurred across the country from the First Fleet landing in 1788 through to the 1920s, and recently took out the 2023 Logie for Most Outstanding Factual or Documentary Program.

On this week’s episode of Blak Matters, Rachel joins Teela Reid to talk about what drives and inspires her, the highs and lows of the referendum lead-up, and why she is working so hard to try and get the Yes vote over the line.

With Australians heading to the polling booths in less than a month’s time, Rachel gives advice to Yes voters and what they can do to educate those yet to make a decision on how they’ll be voting.

“There’ll be people who are absolutely No voters, and you might be one of those people, and that’s fine,” Rachel said.

“You might be undecided, but if you’re a Yes person I would suggest don’t keep bashing your head against the wall of the hard No’s or the person who just wants to discuss it endlessly.

“The work is with the undecided people and it’s just really having a respectful conversation with them, explaining Aboriginal people are at the bottom of the social ladder, because they might not be aware of that, and explaining this is a vehicle to change that.

“Because when we listen to people, we get better results, and the Voice is all about listening.”

Blak Matters provides an inclusive, authentic exploration of First Nations issues from a First Nations perspective. Delivered as an honest but positive conversation between friends, MC & Teela Reid, in under 20 minutes. Listen now on the Listnr app.