OPINION: The eyes of the world are watching referendum choice Opinion Property/Sports/Opinion - popup ad by News Of The Area - Modern Media - October 4, 2023 DEAR News Of The Area, WITH respect to the article by Mr Cox on 29 September 2023, if the assertion is correct then why has every Government or reputable research publication cited that the gap has not closed despite large funds spent in the name of First Nations. I have seen through my work that funding rarely reaches the people at the coal face as it is taken up by fund holders (usually not Aboriginal) or specialist consultants. Without local recipient input, the policies and procedures are misplaced and the assessments are usually cover ups of inefficiencies. First Nations have lived harmoniously for over 60,000 years in their continuous cultural traditions in this continent until about 230 years ago when their lives changed with reduction of their feeding grounds, pollution of their water and destruction of land by mining etc. We have to be truthful and courageous to assert that from 1788 to 1967 which you happily quote is a long time of torment for a nation to bear and the harm has been huge. This referendum is all about those issues and the world is watching as we are the only first world country that has not recognised our First Nation in the constitution and hence dismissed their concerns by a whim of the Government of the day. The outcome of the referendum will define us as a nation whether we have matured or not, we can hold our heads high with dignity or hold it with shame. We will never be able to change the international viewpoint that will follow after October 14 if we vote NO. We have to acknowledge truthfully that in the period of 1788-1967, there has been much torment and harm brought down on our First Nations. Vote YES. Regards, Dr Jay RUTHNAM GP.