Say Yes, by Jennifer Castles and Paul Seden

Mandy’s mum says there are two ladies.
There’s Mrs Jessie Street and Mrs Faith Bandler.
They are clever and they have strong, clear voices.
They are writing down new laws.
They are making speeches everywhere.

Two little girls are best friends and want to do everything together. But one girl – Mandy – isn’t allowed to go the pool, because the law stops her. She isn’t allowed to attend the same school, because the law says she has to go to a different school. And, when they are given money to go to the cinema, they aren’t allowed to sit together, because the law says they must sit in different places.

Say Yes tells the story of th e 1967 Referendum, through the eyes of a young white Australian watching the impact the unfair laws have on her friend, Mandy. Mandy and the narrator hear about the work of Jessie Street and Faith Bandler and are excited when the ‘Yes’ vote wins, making way for positive changes.

A wonderful means of explaining both the referendum process and the unfair and difficult rules which Aboriginal people were subject to until 1967 for children, the story acknowledges that the Yes vote was just a beginning, thus leaving room to explore more recent indigenous issues and events including Sorry Day and the ongoing quest for Reconciliation.

Illustrations use a combination of black and white photos, newspaper and document extracts, and illustrations of the two children in grey scale with bright splashes of colour for their clothing.

An important book for school and home.

Say Yes, by Jennifer Castles & Paul Seden
Allen & Unwin, 2017
ISBN 9781760294670