‘Empowered in the Australian way’: Voice makes waves in multicultural Australia

When Sawathey Ek learnt about the Indigenous Voice to parliament, he saw the shape of something he had often struggled to explain to others in Sydney’s Cambodian diaspora. A possibility pulled into view.

Ek’s ethnic background is Khmer Krom, whose ancestral lands south of the Mekong were annexed from Cambodia and colonised by Vietnam over several centuries. Among Khmer, Cambodia’s majority ethnic group, their position is unique. Marginalised in Vietnam, yet unprotected by Cambodia, their ethnic identity is at odds with their political reality.

But Ek, who migrated to Australia as a 14-year-old, saw in the Voice a framework for the Khmer Krom to be recognised by the diaspora’s representative group, Khmer Community in NSW. It could add three words to its constitution, committing to represent Khmer “and Khmer Krom”.

In full: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/empowered-in-the-australian-way-voice-makes-waves-in-multicultural-australia-20230330-p5cwup.html

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