YES to a First Nations Voice to Parliament
As part of the Allies for Uluru Coalition – consisting of more than 200 civil society organisations across the country – IWDA proudly supports a constitutionally-enshrined First Nations Voice to Parliament.
A Voice to Parliament will be a permanent body to make representations to the Australian Parliament on issues and policies that matter to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
We believe this move holds powerful potential to advance the self-determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by giving them a greater say on matters that affect their communities.
“We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.”
– Uluru Statement from the Heart, 2017
At the core of IWDA’s support for the Voice is a belief in the fundamental principle that laws and policies are more effective when those who are affected by them have a say. We know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are not treated fairly within our current system, with decisions often being made without considering their ideas and perspective. For us, the Voice is a way of addressing this and making our system fairer so that everyone has a chance to be properly heard.
IWDA deeply respects the diversity of views within the movement for First Nations justice and stands in solidarity with all First Nations activists and campaigners seeking a path towards justice, healing and self-determination. Within this journey, we see establishing a Voice as an important step towards building support for transformative change beyond it – including supporting solutions like treaties, truth-telling, land rights and representation.
The upcoming referendum offers us a unique opportunity to build public momentum and show governments that now is the time to listen to the solutions First Nations communities and experts have put forward for many decades – that now is the time for bold policy changes.
IWDA calls on our staff and supporters to inform themselves and their communities ahead of this historic referendum on a First Nations Voice to Parliament. Here are a few ways you can learn more about the Voice and engage others in this important conversation over the coming weeks:
- Read the full Uluru Statement from the Heart
- Take the Voice to Parliament online course to discover what is meant by Indigenous Constitutional Recognition through a Voice – and what a Voice to Parliament is, and is not
- Check out this guide to talking about the Voice to Parliament to learn how to engage others in this conversation
- Watch Mary Crook’s address dismantling the ‘No’ case and sign the Women for Yes letter
- Sign up to host a kitchen table conversation as part of Together, Yes
- Volunteer with Yes 23.