The shocking underbelly of the Voice to Parliament referendum campaign has been revealed in shocking messages left on the mobile phone of a prominent No campaigner.
Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price played back some of the messages left on her mobile phone after her number was leaked on X, formerly known as Twitter.
In one message, a man calls her an Uncle Tom and a ‘Coconut’, a racist trope meaning a person is allegedly brown on the outside but white on the inside.
“Hate your own people. You know, what a disgrace. Absolutely disgraceful, disgusting human being you are. Uncle Tom, coconut,” the man says.
In other messages, a man tells her to “f–k off” while another man says: “You’re a f–king b–ch, woman”.
Senator Price said the messages weren’t the “worst” she had received.
“It’s just remarkable how human beings feel they have the right to be aggressive and abusive and disgusting and horrible,” she said.
She called out the use of the term ‘coconut’ and said she and other No supporters, including Nyunggai Warren Mundine AO, had been targeted by the abusive racial term.
“We can’t just be seen as human beings in our own right, people like to look at us in terms of colour, and there’s no place for it,” she said.
Senator Price said two people had leaked her number online and she had reported them to the police.
When asked if the messages had rattled her, she said she had been subjected to abuse over many years.
“I’ve had so many people be abusive and horrible towards me over the years,” she said.
“And it doesn’t surprise me, I know what human beings are capable of.
“I just think, you know, wake up to yourselves. I’ve been campaigning for the betterment of the lives of our most vulnerable who are silenced because of violent perpetrators and I won’t put up with perpetrators sending me messages like that.”
She also said she wouldn’t be bullied by the toxic behaviour.
“I am not going to be bullied,” she said.
“I am here because there are people who are worse off than I am. I need to be their vessel, their voice, because if I don’t, well who else is going to?”
“Reflect upon your behaviour, yourselves, and sort out your own backyard.”
Senator Price has changed her number.
There are less than three weeks left until the October 14 referendum for a Voice to Parliament, which if successful would formally recognise First Nations people and embed a permanent Indigenous-led advisory body into the Constitution.