Later this year, the Federal Government will hold a referendum to allow all Australians to have their say and vote on whether changes should be made to the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament.
These changes would mean the establishment of an independent and permanent advisory body that would give advice to the Australian Parliament and Government on matters that affect the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
As with all areas of life, people will have differing views and will want different things. It is important that as a community, we approach this referendum with respect and compassion for one another, and it is important that we take the time to learn, ask questions and become informed before we vote.
The information here is aimed to provide some of the key resources that are available to help educate and inform and to provide a summary of some of the key pieces of information that are related to the referendum.
In late 2023, the Australians will have their say in a referendum about whether to change the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. The Voice would be an independent and permanent advisory body. It would give advice to the Australian Parliament and Government on matters that affect the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have called for members of the Voice to be chosen by First Nations peoples based on the wishes of local communities.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation to the Australian people from First Nations Australians. It asks Australians to walk together to build a better future by establishing a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution, and the establishment of a Makarrata Commission for the purpose of treaty making and truth-telling.
You can access this resource, Responding to Common Concerns About an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, provided by the Australian National University. Please view the document here.