Residents of the Illawarra will have the chance to learn more about the Voice to Parliament from an Indigenous constitutional lawyer and member of the Uluru Dialogue.
Eddie Synot will speak about the Voice at a discussion event on September 14 hosted by the Illawarra Centre for Enablement (ICFE), which will include a Q and A session with the audience.
Mr Synot is a Wamba Wamba man who has been involved with the Uluru Dialogue - a group advancing the work of the Uluru Statement of Heart - for six years, working on all aspects of the Voice, including community engagement and drafting amendments.
He said the Voice was an important mechanism to recognise the place of Indigenous people and give them the opportunity to have a say on the decisions that affected them.
The purpose of events like the upcoming ICFE discussion, Mr Synot said, was to ensure Australians could make an informed choice.
"Most importantly I hope people are able to leave informed enough to make a decision when it comes to vote in the referendum," Mr Synot said.
He said the event was to be a safe place and people had to be respectful, but he welcomed any questions on the Voice.
ICFE founder Diann Rodgers-Healey said the event would cover such topics as what had led to the referendum and why the proposed Voice would make a difference.
"The main reason [I have organised this] is I'm not Indigenous and I believe you really need to know what is proposed and why from an Indigenous expert, and particularly an Indigenous lawyer because it is a constitutional change," Dr Rodgers-Healey said.
Mr Synot said there was still a lot of work to do ahead of the referendum to educate people.
Historically, people were not well-informed about the issues facing Indigenous people or their history, he said, nor more broadly the civic process and how a referendum worked.
But he is confident in the work that has been and continues to be done.
A key message of the 'no' campaign is "If you don't know, vote no", with the official opposition saying the Voice is "legally risky, with unknown consequences".
But Mr Synot said: "If you don't know, find out".
"I think 'if you don't know, vote no' is a very insidious form of ignorance pushed by certain people which is actually robbing people of their authority when it comes to voting in the referendum," Mr Synot said.
He said he was concerned when people were "encouraged to lean into ignorance" and hoped that if people voted 'no', they did so from an informed position.
Mr Synot said he did not share the concerns of those taking other positions against the Voice, such as those concerned that it would end the possibility of treaty.
The Voice came from a process of engaging in dialogue with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country, he said, and was the result of a self-determined consensus.
Mr Synot said not everyone did agree with the Voice, but that was the nature of representative democracy.
While he supported the 'yes' vote, Mr Synot invited everyone to attend the September discussion event and have a conversation.
Dr Rodgers-Healey said once people had all the information, whatever they decided was their prerogative.
"I see the referendum as a really significant moment in our history because it is nation-building, so I think we all have a responsibility to consider this issue carefully," she said.
The event will be held from 6.30pm on September 14 at the Fraternity Club in Fairy Meadow.
For more information and tickets, visit app.tickets.org.au/ICFE/voice-discussion.