‘Magnet to my soul’: Farmer ends run for Voice at Uluru

Pat Farmer has run more than a marathon a day since April in his campaign to support the Voice.

Pat Farmer has run more than a marathon a day since April in his campaign to support the Voice. Photo: AAP

After more than 14,000 kilometres and six months on the road, marathon runner Pat Farmer’s trek for the Indigenous voice has reached its finish line at Uluru.

The former Liberal MP choked back tears as he described the final stages in reaching the spiritual heart of the country.

Farmer has run more than a marathon a day since April in support of the voice, going across the country to spread the message about the constitutional change ahead of Saturday’s referendum.

“When I first got my glimpse of Uluru, it looked an almost purplish colour from a distance,” he said at Uluru.

“It brought a tear to my eye and a realisation that this journey was finally coming to an end.

“This monument behind me, this monolith behind me, has been a magnet to my soul.”

Farmer urged Australians to vote ‘yes’ at Saturday’s poll to enshrine the Indigenous advisory body in the constitution.

“All we have to do is vote ‘yes’, and we can change history in this country for the better for future generations, for our children, and for all children in this nation,” he said.

“On Saturday, we have an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the past, to correct those mistakes and to move forward together as one.”

Farmer was met at Uluru by members of the Central Land Council and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who was there at the start of the run in Hobart.

“At that time, [we] thought it was pretty ambitious someone running 14,500 kilometres,” Albanese said.

“He has provided an inspiration for Australians.

“We’ll be a little bit greater if we wake up on Sunday having recognised the first Australians and having said that we want to listen to them about matters that affect them.”

Farmer's epic Voice run ends in Uluru

As the Voice campaign enters its final days, the ‘yes’ campaign is hoping for a last-minute boost from the father of reconciliation Patrick Dodson, who will give an address to the National Press Club.

Polls have shown the referendum will fail but with one in eight voters still undecided, supporters are hoping Dodson will bring a final push for constitutional change.

A group of Australian of the Year winners has also united to urge the country towards a ‘yes’ vote.

Adam Goodes, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Dylan Alcott, Cathy Freeman, Grace Tame, John Farnham, current winner Taryn Brumfitt and others have signed an open letter backing the referendum.

More than three million people have cast early votes ahead of polling day on Saturday.

NT senator and No campaigner Jacinta Nampijinpa Price said there was much work to do to close the gap, regardless of the result of the referendum.

“It’s been acknowledged it’s not working,” she told Nine’s Today program.

“We want to fix the systems that are currently in place within our democracy, to ensure that they do work.

“I want to move away from the welfare issue and allow people to be empowered through being employers and job creators.”

Central Land Council chief executive Les Turner thanked Farmer for his epic commitment and said a ‘no’ vote would maintain a system that was not working for Indigenous people.

“In terms of central Australia, we have 28 of our communities under water stress or no potable, palatable water,” he said.

“We have a lack of schooling and education facilities in our communities.

“Sometimes we have no health services, no nurses, no doctors. The roads are terrible, power and water are intermittent and housing is a major issue.

“We live in the best country in the world – let’s make it an even better country on Saturday by voting yes, everybody.”

No campaigner Warren Mundine rejected suggestions reconciliation with Indigenous Australians would not be possible should the referendum fail.

“Australia has been moving along [for] reconciliation for 20, 30 years at least,” he told ABC Radio.

“This is one thing that has come out which is positive … ‘yes’ and ‘no’ people want things to be reconciled.”

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