The 1967 Referendum has become a key event in the history of Indigenous affairs in Australia. Promotional material and ephemera produced for the Referendum, such as this badge, provided a show of support and reflected the tireless efforts, courage and contributions to the campaign for Indigenous rights of many Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. A large number of individuals, committees and organisations had been working for many years to formalise the recognition of Indigenous rights, and initiate constitutional reform. By the mid 1960s, the Commonwealth Government could no longer ignore the pressure of calls for change at a local level and the international stance on civil and human rights. Immediately after the date for the referendum was announced, the referendum campaign proper got underway. The Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI) quickly developed its campaign strategy ultimately hoping for greater public support which would not only instigate constitutional changes but one that might also inspire further change of policies. The underlying theme which shaped the campaign was a 'better deal' for Indigenous Australians. On 27 May 1967 a referendum was held to change the Constitution. The overwhelming YES vote was an outstanding result and an important first step for social justice, change and reconciliation.
The 'Vote Yes for Aborigines' Badge was part of the enormous amount of promotional material created for the 1967 Referendum Campaign slogan 'Vote YES for Aborigines' which also included thousands of handbills, car stickers, vote yes badges, literature and general information. Many Indigenous campaigners such as Joe McGuiness, Bill Onus and Doug Nicholls travelled around the country to speak about the Referendum attracting media interest wherever they went. FAACATSI posters and handbills were handed out at polling booths. All of this activity resulted in a great deal of publicity via the news media for the YES case.
Small badge with slogan 'VOTE YES for ABORIGINES'.