On the ground at the “yes” event
There was a nerve-wracking silence, then resounding cheers, as a crowd of thousands gathered in Sydney’s Prince Alfred Park heard the message they had wished upon for months: “yes” had won.
The crowd was packed with all sorts: rainbow flags, wigs, signs, glitter. The most flamboyant attendees were bailed up by journalists, while others spread out picnic blankets with their kids.
As the minutes counted down, the masses drew closer to the stage, where the campaign leaders, staff and activists, were lined up waiting. After a few rousing speeches, and a video recapping the campaign, everyone turned to watch a live feed of Statistician David Kalisch deliver the long-awaited result.
As Kalisch ran through an explanation of the survey, there was laughter at points – a wry groan when he said “quality information”, and another when he launched into the participation statistics instead of blurting out the result.
“And the result is?” someone near the stage yelled, laughing.
But then it came – a silence, and a resounding cheer. A wave of elation spread through the crowd as people turned to their loved ones and kissed them, danced, screamed, and said “Are you gonna marry me now, babe?!”
Seconds later, Love Is In The Air started playing on the speakers – sung by no other than John Paul Young himself, quickly joined by Magda Szubanski. The dancing continued for minutes, the huge crowd swaying along with the song.
The ramifications of the vote – the numbers, the bills, the votes in parliament – are all yet to come. But for now, Australians are celebrating.
– Lane Sainty