One of Australia's pre-eminent Indigenous activists will issue a rallying cry to the nation to vote 'yes' as the days to the voice referendum narrow.
Supporters of a constitutionally-enshrined Aboriginal advisory body have just over two weeks to turn negative polling around and convince a majority of Australians in a majority of states to vote 'yes'.
Mr Pearson has been campaigning around the country and will address the National Press Club on Wednesday.
He used his latest media address in Brisbane to spruik how the voice could help tackle health issues facing Indigenous Australians, including those suffering from heart disease.
Mr Pearson said it was heartbreaking to visit schools and see young students with the disease.
"(It's) about underlining the importance of the voice to bring issues like this to the fore," he said.
"With the voice we're saying, 'listen, guys ... these are the kinds of issues that you're going to be able to talk directly with government about'."
But enshrining a voice in the constitution says Indigenous Australians "will always live in poverty", prominent 'no' campaigner Warren Mundine claims.
"That we'll always need help, that we are destined for permanent disadvantage," he told the National Press Club on Tuesday.
"This is exactly what people thought in the 1800s when they set up the protection regimes, when they set up segregation.
"It's wrong to tell young people growing up in these families that they are disadvantaged because they are Indigenous."
Indigenous people needed to also "forgive Australia as a nation" and not be trapped in "victimhood and oppression", Mr Mundine said,
"Many Aboriginals feel angry about past wrongdoings but these events cannot be undone," he said.
"There is a stage you have to move on.
"That's not to say that we forget about it, that we don't acknowledge it."
The language was "incendiary and inflammatory", the Uluru Dialogue said in a statement.
"Mundine spoke about apologies and forgiveness ... but we know apologies are only meaningful if we show a preparedness to listen to the other party.
"The voice is a means to allow First Nations people to have a say and be listened to - without a voice, rhetorical apologies are not enough."
Mr Mundine's rhetoric tipped over into "unacceptable political communication" and was offensive to people who grew up in racially segregated missions and reserves, voice architect Megan Davis said.
13YARN 13 92 76
Aboriginal Counselling Services 0410 539 905
Australian Associated Press
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