There’s another kind of election underway and a group of Indigenous students want your vote.
Courtney Maher, Eliza Turner, Shaquille Aldridge, Zac Watson (Eden Marine High School) and Budjarn Williams (Lumen Christi Catholic College) have each written and recorded the speech they would make if they were to become the first indigenous prime minister of Australia.
On Friday they began their campaigns, using their digital and social networks to generate votes for their videos, and hope to make the top hundred from more than 600 candidates across Australia.
Then they are banking on a candidate from the Bega Valley - there are around 20 - making it into the top 10.
From there the top three candidates will deliver their speech to parliament after polishing it with the professionals.
The project, called The Other Election, is being run by the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME).
It gave hundreds of indigenous students the challenge of writing and recording their speech in two hours.
The campaign went live on Friday morning.
Program coordinator for the Bega Valley Shire and Eurobodalla Stephen Mitchell said the students have done a great job so far.
“I’m really pleased with the amount of kids that completed the task,” he said.
“They were only given two hours, some students an hour, to write and record the speech they would address the nation with after they got elected, how they would make Australia a better place.”
“For a group of 15 to 18 year olds the words that came out of their mouths shocked me, in that they are a lot more knowledgeable than what we give respect for and they understand what needs to change to make Australia a better place.”
“I think Tony Abbot and Kevin Rudd should step out of the way and let one of these kids run the show.”
He hoped that one day the project would become reality.
“Personally, I’m not sure I’ll see it in my lifetime but I hope that in their lifetime they’ll see an indigenous prime minister represent their people but also Australia as a country and maybe then we can come together fully reconciled and move forward as a great nation.”
He encouraged readers to watch the videos online at www.theotherelection.com.au and vote for the candidates.
“They run a campaign with zero dollars, so they really have to be on the ball and use their friends and family around them to get as many votes as possible,” Mr Mitchell said.
“That will get them to the top 100 in two weeks’ time, then we’ll see someone in the top 10 come September 17.”
“I encourage all readers to get on board, it’s really only going to take a minute of your time to support a young indigenous student of this region to be successful and make Australia aware they are doing great things and they’ll continue to do great things.”
See Zac’s video here
See Eliza’s video here
See Courtney’s video here
See Shaquille’s video here
See Budjan’s video here