The Voice

The Exclusion of Anglos from the Voice Debate

This is an extract from Quadrant Books’ the new publication The Voice Referendum: A Statement on Behalf of the British Australian Community by Frank Salter.

The full text is available as a free download the from the Quadrant Store


The demand for an indigenous Voice to Parliament comes at a time of crisis for Anglo-Australia and the nation as a whole. The demand cannot be con­sidered outside this context. It is a fire sale being conducted by the arsonists. The history of Anglo dispossession is the context in which a Voice is being demanded. That his­tory explains why not one Anglo advocate was included in the consultative process that formulated the Voice referendum.[1] The Voice pro­posal fits this pattern by con­forming to globalist anti-Western and anti-national ideology.

The exclusion is profound. Commentator Paul Kelly notes that the Voice pro­cess has offered “extremely limited consultation with the public – no constitu­tional con­vention, no parliamentary committee collaborating on the model, … not even the release of legal advice from the Solicitor-General …”[2] The process has been more extreme for Anglo-Australians because their representatives have been excluded from participating in a matter of group rights and national origins.

Anglo exclusion from the Voice process goes back to its beginnings. In 2012, prime minister Julia Gillard appointed an “expert panel” to consider constitu­tional recog­nition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. All members of the panel were either indigenous activists, their white supporters, or other minority advocates. It was appropriate to ensure strong representation by indigenous leaders, which should have been broadened to include more delegates from the regions.[3] But there was not one defender of Anglo interests in all their diverse locations and economic disposi­tions throughout Australia. Subsequent Coali­tion governments continued Gillard’s discriminatory practice in appointing committees to advise on indigenous recogni­tion, though prime minister Tony Abbott intended to consult more widely.[4] As jour­nalist Chris Kenny observes, the Coalition participated in the Voice process and helped formulate the referen­dum model.[5] The new Albanese Labor government is also excluding Anglo advocates from its advisory bodies.[6]

The extent to which Anglo-Australians have been excluded from the Voice pro­cess becomes apparent by comparing commentators who support the Voice with those who disagree with it.

Noel Pearson is a leading Aboriginal advocate of constitutional recognition and the Voice. He is approved by the multicultural political class, is afforded prestigious platforms, and is reviewed with reverence. He is a leading architect of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, upon which the Voice proposal is based. Pearson recently argued his case in the 2022 Boyer Lectures.

Pearson’s Voice proposal is based in significant part on dehumanising assump­tions — assumptions that have proliferated among commentators of radi­cal bent and even among some confused conservatives. This becomes clear when he proposes three sources of national identity. The first source, he states, is the First Nations, i.e. the peoples and cultures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. The second source consisted of Anglo institutions, such as parliamentary government and common law. Pearson notes British-derived cul­ture but does not recognise the ethnicity – he would say the “race” – that made the country.[7] The third source of identity consisted of post-Second-World-War immigrants.

Pearson’s theory omits Anglos as flesh and blood people, unlike indigenous peo­ple and immigrants. They contributed nothing, he states, except for institu­tions and culture. Pearson would have us believe that democracy, technology, language, com­mon law and Christianity came as disembodied spirits, that they were not carried in the minds of ordinary people. On the contrary, settlers from the British Isles were Australia’s principal population for our entire history. Brit­ish and other European settlers formed the demographic and cultural basis of the nation, from its origins in 1788 until well after the Second World War. Still today they form the core identity and cohesive bond of the nation. After all, it was mainly they who mapped, named and built Australia. Indigenous peoples were granted early citizenship in most of the colonies and over time added a unique texture to the emerging national identity.

The dehumanisation of Anglos appears to have been taken up by others. Gabri­elle Appleby, professor of law at the University of New South Wales and leading legal proponent of the Voice, discounts the existence of the Australian nation when she describes the Australian population as consisting of “settler and First Nation communities”.[8] Will Anglos and others who arrived in the last quarter millennium forever remain “settlers”? Do they not have any ingredients of indigeneity, no matter how many generations their families have lived here? Do ATSI peoples make up the only nations in Australia? Anglo-Australians have manifestly been moved by the sense of nationhood. Why else did they make sacrifices to fight the World Wars? The denial of Anglo peoplehood by Pearson and Appleby occurs all too commonly in the multicultural-approved indigenous movement. The denial’s withdrawal and repudi­ation will be necessary for gen­uine reconciliation.

As for Pearson’s third wave, it is true that the post-War migrants added to the nation’s culture, though they were the main beneficiaries of their migration. That’s why they came to Australia. The key point is that when the first post-War migrants arrived in the late 1940s, Australia had already been created through the sweat and toil of largely Anglo pioneers. Indigenous peoples participated in that nation-building project. The post-Sec­ond World War immigrants added to our culture and economy; they did not create the country. Australia had already fought two world wars, again with indigenous participation. Every city, every state, was already in place and flour­ishing. We were a leading nation in terms of material progress, civil liberties, per capita contributions to science and technol­ogy, and dignified treatment of the indigenous population. Our nation was not per­fect. But it was a functioning whole that, like the United States, Canada and New Zealand, demonstrated once again that British Isles people could flourish in environ­ments far removed from their mother country.

ANOTHER assumption hostile to Anglo-Australians is Pearson’s view that Austral­ians do not like Aborigines. He claims this dislike is correlated with estrangement, that Australians do not like indigenous people despite not know­ing them. But Pear­son himself has explained that estrangement is often due to Aboriginal behaviour. His extensive writings on the nature of indigenous disa­bility tend to contradict what he is now writing, because they suggest that the views most hostile to Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders come from those closest to them, those most familiar with their behaviour. It is true that many non-indigenous people are unfamiliar with indige­nous-Australians. But they are often the ones most disposed to support them, at least they have done so by paying taxes for ATSI assistance and accepting the elevation of their formal sta­tus wrought by the Mabo decision and government policies. This has implica­tions for the reconciliation process.

Pearson has characterised Aboriginal disability, from high rates of domestic vio­lence, child neglect, crime, substance abuse, and poor educational outcomes, as com­parable to that found in the Third World, despite Australia being a First World coun­try. He and some other indigenous activists blame Anglos for caus­ing maladaptive Aboriginal behaviour. He claims that the disability would be repaired if Anglos only voted for the Voice, to allow indigenous-Australians to manage their own affairs.

Essentially the same argument was made by Pearson back in 2011, when he argued passionately for recognition of indigenous-Australians in the Constitu­tion.[9] He now supports the Voice and disparages recognition as mere window dressing. The new push is for power and sovereignty, though the arguments remain the same.

This claim needs to be distinguished from the more limited view that closing the Gap will be facilitated by government liaising with local communities. This claim has been well made by Senator Patrick Dodson with respect to crime by indigenous youth.[10] Previous prime minister Scott Morrison expressed this view more broadly and perhaps too confidently: “This is not some political exercise. For us to close the gap on infant mortality in Indigenous communities, to reduce substance dependence, to reduce child abuse, to get kids in school, to ensure that we can improve maternal health, to get young people and their parents into jobs, to do that you have to work in partnership with local Indigenous communities.”

Pearson’s error is to imagine that Morrison’s opinion is a proven fact, and that a constitutionally mandated Voice would close the gap by forcing govern­ment to con­sult local indigenous communities. Such speculative confidence might have been sobered by the presence of independently-minded members of the committees that formulated the Voice proposal, such as people with proven sympathy for indigenous-Australians who also advocated for white Australia.

ANGLO interests have also been ignored on the Coalition side of the Voice debate, in contrast to the care taken to consult Aboriginal spokesmen.

Long-time Liberal prime minister John Howard (1996-2007) conducted a ref­eren­dum which asked, among other things, whether citizens supported recog­nising indigenous-Australians in a preamble to the Constitution. At no point in the debate did Howard also propose acknowledging the Anglo founders of the nation. He stated his view that Australia is a multi-racial nation unified by a common culture and com­mon citizenship, without identifying the origins of those commonalities.

Tony Abbott was Liberal prime minister from 2013 to 2015 and before that a min­ister in John Howard’s government. His position on the Voice proposal resembles Howard’s, that it should be contained in a preamble to the Constitu­tion, not in the legally-binding body of the document. Creditably, in 2014 Abbott appointed an advisory body whose terms of reference would have required it to consult not only indigenous people but the broader community, “because the constitution belongs to everyone”. Abbott’s plan for the acknowledgment pro­cess to consult non-indigenous peoples was dropped by his successor, Malcolm Turnbull, who was Australia’s prime minister from 2015 until 2018. The result was that the process reverted to the previous Labor government’s exclusive focus on indigenous interests, an approach that effec­tively disenfranchised Anglo-Australians and prevented genuine reciprocal reconcil­iation. However procedurally worthy, Abbott was hindered by a false notion of Aus­tralia’s iden­tity, perhaps due to the influence of Noel Pearson. Abbott improves on Pearson, because his version of the Anglo component appears to allow that they con­trib­uted not only institutions but demography and culture. He recommends the pre­amble:

“Whereas the people … have agreed to unite in one indissoluble federal com­monwealth, with an Indigenous heritage, a British foundation, and an immigrant character …”[11]

Despite modification, this formulation is fatally burdened by Pearson’s orig­inal error of scale. If anything, the lack of ambiguity in Abbott’s version high­lights the anachronism more than does Pearson’s version. As discussed further in the final sec­tion, the Commonwealth’s indigenous heritage is one of texture and identity, not eco­nomic, cultural, or demographic weight. The nation was forged largely by Anglo (and other European) settlers and their native-born chil­dren. Neither did Australia of 1901 have an “immigrant character” that was much different to an Anglo character. Any honest acknowledgement of national origins should dwell mainly on British set­tlement, while recognising the prior settlement and cultural input of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders and their interactions with the settlers.

These Liberal prime ministers were radically out of touch with the attitudes of Australia’s founders, who knew and valued their ethnic identity. Unlike the nation’s founders, they did not care about the dire fall in relative Anglo numbers and rank in the ethnic hierarchy. Nor did they care about, empirically or intui­tively, the danger posed to democracy by rising ethnic diversity. This danger was apparent to observers such as philosopher John Stuart Mill and Australian politician Sir Henry Parkes in the nineteenth century and became more apparent in the years after the Second World War. Their view was confirmed scientifically around the end of the twentieth century.[12] The replacement of Anglo-Australia could not have occurred without the failure of Liberal “conservative” leader­ship.

Even No campaigner Nyunggai Warren Mundine, himself of Aboriginal her­itage and no client of the multicultural establishment, proposes acknowledging migrants as well as indigenous-Australians, but not Anglos. Neither Mundine or other No pro­ponents thought to consult, let alone recognise, the people who created modern Aus­tralia and formed the self-consciously Anglo nation that made the Commonwealth.[13]

The abandonment of Anglo-Australia by political elites provides grounds for sympathising with Voice exponents. Neither Anglos, Aborigines, or Torres Strait Islanders are recognised by the present Constitution.

A typical conservative criticism of the proposed Voice is that it would sully Aus­tralia’s Constitution. They assert that the constitution has been a great suc­cess, so why change it? This is largely true, but does not fully answer the indig­enous complaint that the constitution ignores their foundational role. Consider commentator Greg Sheridan’s criticism of the Voice:

An Australian citizen who is a Chinese immigrant from Hong Kong, or an Indian immigrant from Kolkata, or a Hmong hill tribesman from Laos who took out Australian citizenship one day ago, as a citizen is just as good as me, and just as good as Aboriginal Australians.[14]

What Sheridan probably meant is true, that as a matter of law all citizens have equal rights. But the imprecision of his language betrays a much larger assumption, because “just as good” also encompasses the meaning “of equal value or importance to the nation”. In that sense, the assertion is plainly false. Just as members of ethnic minorities can be expected to celebrate and defend their shared identities, so nations consist of psychological ties cued by shared identity. That is why the distinctions between ethnies, nations, and states (in Section 3) are so important for an understand­ing of the national question.

Citizenship is not as good at creating social cohesion as are national ties. How­ever, Sheridan is right to the extent that the Constitution does not challenge official levelling through citizenship. The administrative state seeks to reduce the national ties of culture, history, and kinship to possession of a legal docu­ment. In the eyes of multi-cultural ideologues, memberships issued yesterday by administrative fiat are “just as good” as ancient affiliations. The Constitution does not acknowledge that Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders were the first inhabitants and that they con­tributed to national country and identity. In doing so it is not singling-out indigenous peoples. The Constitution has no favourites. It does not even recognise the leading historical role played by the Anglo crea­tors of the Australian nation, the Common­wealth, and the Constitution itself. The Constitution is as cavalier towards commu­nity and belonging as its cham­pion Greg Sheridan, who once quipped that Anglo-Australia had undergone “benign cultural genocide”.[15] In reality, it is surely reason­able for any people or nation to wish to avoid cultural genocide, benign or otherwise. Whether viewed through indigenous or Anglo eyes, the Constitution is a cold-blooded document that has afforded the nation inadequate protection against ruth­less elites.

Much as a prosecution needs a defence lawyer to achieve fairness, Anglo-Aus­tralians need champions who are willing to take their side in the Voice argu­ment. Freedom rests on balancing adversarial relations in politics, business, and culture. Monopolies rest on eliminating or preventing adversaries. They tend to be oppres­sive. The revolutionary demographic change afflicting many Western countries could not have occurred had the majority’s ethnic interests been rep­resented in poli­tics and culture. Similarly, the inverted ethnic hierarchy imposed by multicultural regimes could not have arisen or been sustained if governments had not turned against the founding ethnicity. This is perhaps the reason why political multicultur­alism has been authoritarian, for example in “anti-hate” laws, censorship, and most recently cancellation by Big Tech social media plat­forms and payment systems. Tol­erance of majority identity and expression would have moderated extremist replace­ment ideology.

All ethnic groups with a stake in Australia’s Constitution should be treated as flesh-and-blood people with interests of life, dignity, and demographic conti­nuity. Advocates of Anglo interests have been effectively silenced in the present debate over an indigenous Voice. The same has been true for decades concerning public discus­sion of ethnic affairs in general.


[1]     Salter, The misguided case for indigenous recognition, op cit.

[2]     Kelly, Paul (2023). Albanese’s flawed voice fails the test, The Weekend Australian, 25 march, pp. 17, 20.

[3]     Mundine, Nyunggai Warren (2023). Real voices gagged by grand gesture to absolve white guilt, The Weekend Australian, 15 April, p. 15.

[4]     Salter, F. K. (2014). The misguided case for indigenous recognition in the Constitution. Part II: Race and the culture wars, Quadrant 58(1): 32-40. Reprinted in: Salter, F. K. (2018). The Aboriginal question: Australian racial politics of indigenous recognition and Anglo de-recognition. Collected essays II, Social Technologies., Sydney.

[5]     Kenny, Chris (2023). 15 questions, now for the answers, The Weekend Australian, 11 February, p. 21.

[6]     Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice (2023). Who is involved., accessed 11.3.2022.

[7]     Pearson, N. (2011). Constitutional reform crucial to indigenous wellbeing. The Weekend Australian, 24 December, p. 20., accessed 15.3.2023.

[8]     Gabrielle Appleby quoted in: Albrechtsen, Janet (2023). Dear voters, please read this letter to appreciate what ‘Yes’ will mean, The Weekend Australian, 8 April, p. 20. The full quote: “[constitutional change] may allow the voice, working with parliament, to be an alternative site for decision-making about how settler and First Nations communities can manage their shared (or conflicting) resources, institutions and spaces in ways that accommodate each community to the other.”

[9]     Pearson, Noel (2011). Constitutional reform crucial to indigenous wellbeing.

[10]   Dodson, Patrick (2022). The deadly spiral of law-and-order ‘solutions’ has to stop. The Weekend Australian, 26 November, p. 24., accessed 19.2.2023.

[11]   Abbott, Tony (2022). Pass or fail, this referendum will surely leave us worse off, The Weekend Australian, 5 November, p. 16., accessed 2.2.2023.

[12]   Mill, J. S. (1960/1861). Chapter XVI: On nationality, as connected to representative government. Representative government. Three essays by John Stuart Mill. J. S. Mill. London, Oxford University Press: 380-388, pp. 381-382.

      Mill’s view that ethnic diversity harms democracy was shared by Sir Henry Parkes, father of Australian federation. See: Salter, F. K. (2020). Sir Henry Parkes’s liberal-ethnic nationalism, Sydney Trads: Weblog of the Sydney Traditionalist Forum, 18 December.

      Calwell, A. A. (1978/1972). Be just and fear not. Adelaide, Rigby.

      Berghe, P. L. v. d. (1981). The ethnic phenomenon. New York, Elsevier.

      Salter, F. K. (2018). The biosocial study of ethnicity. The Oxford handbook of evolution, biology, and society. R. L. Hopcroft. New York, Oxford University Press: 543-568 [selected pages available at].

[13]   Karp, P. (2023). Voice to parliament no campaign to push for recognition of migrants as well as Indigenous people, The Guardian, 29 January., accessed 31.1.2023.

[14]   Sheridan, Greg (2022). Liberalism equals equality, The Weekend Australian, 26 November, p. 24., accessed 20.1.2023.

[15]   Sheridan, G. (2014). Constitutional change will divide not unite the nation, The Australian, 20 September.

12 thoughts on “The Exclusion of Anglos from the Voice Debate

  • brandee says:

    [My comment has been disappeared]

  • pmprociv says:

    Thanks for such a heartfelt and articulate defence of what the Poms have done for us, Frank. Even though I could never be mistaken for one, I fully agree with you. It cannot be denied that, while Western Civilisation in its present manifestation has arisen from a collaborative, global effort, its foundations are firmly rooted in the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, both phenomena considered positively in their time (not so much these days, clearly). And there’s no doubt where their epicentre lay — if any one nation can take responsibility for the present world, it would have to be Great Britain. Is that something to be ashamed of, or should it be a source of pride? It sure is the subject of much envy around the world. I, for one, remain impressed by the Poms and what they’ve achieved, and will be forever grateful that my family, purely by accident at the time, ended up in Australia, still the most civilised country in the world.

    • Max Rawnsley says:

      Yes, being of Anglo-Irish ethnicity I am very aware and eternally grateful for the English contribution..I can not condone the 800 years it took to free the Republic. But all that is irreversible, fact based history. Similarly the history of the disparate ‘first nations’ is irreversible, and imo not addressed nor should it be by the Voice.

      Australia is a multi racial society with its fractures and imperfections that will be shattered by constitutional racism proposed by the Voice.

  • Stephen Due says:

    Broadly speaking, modern Australia was established exclusively by British colonists in the nineteenth century. It owes nothing to the Aborigines and little to subsequent waves of immigrants. The reason the Anglos are excluded in the thinking of the Voice proponents is that the latter are essentially anti-establishment. Like the woke ideologues who have so readily made friends with them, the Voice advocates are adopting an adolescent viewpoint in which the control of the parent is being rejected, and there is a lot of whingeing and sulking going on – and little else. What the government must do is enforce the law, clean up the camps, ensure the children are in school, stop handing out money, and stop listening to activists. They want a Megaphone, aka Voice, but have nothing substantial to contribute. To suggest making changes to the constitution in response to their juvenile demands is not only pointless but also irresponsible. The government needs to get some backbone. Hopefully the people of Australia will wake up to what is going on, and vote No.


    Making distinctions based on race is anathema to a healthy society. The predictable result of this latest us and them argy-bargy is that whilst most stake holders are distracted by the fray, the bureaucrats and elite fomenters of racial tension of both sides will decamp with the financial spoils and be insulated from the
    racially toxic fallout.

  • padraic says:

    As an Australian born native descended from a variety of European groups, for which I have no particular affinity, I deplore the current trend to put people in ethnic boxes, no matter how far back are their ethnic origins, instead of common citizenship being the benchmark. I understand that recent migrants and their children can identify with both their origins and their current Australian citizenship, just as did my ancestors, but there comes a point in family history when Australia is home exclusively and I think it is that group – not Anglos – and if we are to pursue the ethic box concept – are the ones being targeted by the Yes proponents firstly as “chicken littles” and more recently as “rabble” along with other “No” voters. Just as well that we don’t embrace victimhood so we can “ring this number”.

  • rosross says:

    Our ancestry is personally interesting, but, like religion, should be a private matter which is not shoved down the throats of others. Who cares which smidge of aboriginal clan you can claim or even who your ancestors were. As Australians we are all equal as citizens and nothing else should be a factor.

  • Brian Boru says:

    I agree with padraic and rosross. Who cares; “As Australians we are all equal as citizens and nothing else should be a factor.”
    But we do care not to have any one group acknowledged in our Constitution because that has the potential to undo our egalitarian ethos.
    I have seen people with numbers tattooed on their forearms, I have seen reports of the murder and mayhem caused by divisions on the Indian sub-continent. We must cherish our National spirit and not let it be wrecked.
    Drongo Dutton has just announced he would call a second referendum to put recognition into our Constitution. Let’s hope that drives his ratings even lower.

    • Max Rawnsley says:

      He has expressed the basis of indigenous inclusion that is very likely to be very acceptable to the vast majority. He has sought to introduce such a modification to the Referendum. No response from Albo so he speaks directly to the public.

      But you describe him a ‘drongo’? Lowers the level of civil debate, contribution zero.

      • Brian Boru says:

        You are right Max, I should not have used the word “drongo”, it adds nothing and does lower the level of debate. I withdraw it. My comment, other than that, was made on a point of principle. I believe that racial division and Citizenship inequalities do not belong in 21st Century Australia and they don’t belong in our Constitution.
        Whether the vast majority of Australians would accept some basis of indigenous inclusion, as you say is likely, could only be tested at a future referendum. In the meantime I must continue to criticise Dutton (on the point of principle) for having raised the matter.

      • STD says:

        But Max, isn’t a Drongo a type of bird?
        A black bird a dark coloured species. They have forked ‘tails’ (a divided tale) and some have very elaborate decorations (stories) that adorn (a dawning in mind)) these latter (past )regions (stories).
        Lastly Max they are ‘thought’ to prey on the vulnerable – the less powerful insects and smaller birds who are by my inference unawares of the impending plight that is afoot. Saying YES to someone else’s culinary delights is not in the best interests and in accordance’s of the rationality embedded in reasoning the details.
        So on that premise it is Messrs Albanese and Co that have invited and are intending certain consequences for all but a minority of Australians should the drongo case GET UP.
        Max when you have a barking mad dog trying to attack you, that is not the time for good table manners or waxing lyrically or eloquently.
        Agreed, that holiness has both a time and place, though.

    • STD says:

      It’s political expediency- giving the disaffected something…..someone will be watching the polling to identify the shift.

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