The ALMBC and the Voice to Parliament
The Voice to Parliament referendum will be held later this year. The Voice to Parliament is a body enshrined in the Constitution and provides Constitutional recognition to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The body will enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to provide advice to the Australian Parliament on policies and legislation that will impact their lives.
A Voice to Parliament gives the Australian Government the opportunity to make policies with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, rather than for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. – Uluru Statement from the Heart
To date, there is has been significant debate across the country about the pros and cons of a Voice to Parliament. It is an important and very significant time in the history of the land on which we live. Your vote in the referendum needs to be based on being informed about what the Voice means and the impact it can have towards truth telling and healing we share with the First Nations of this Country.
It is about 3 things:
- Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution
- Having an Indigenous Voice to Parliament
- The need for a referendum to provide all Australians with an opportunity to decide
The referendum will be asking this:
“A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Do you approve of this proposed alteration?”
The detail of the Voice and the parameters for what it does or doesn’t do are not decided in a referendum – they are decided by Parliament so it should not even be included in the debate. In addition to doing your own research, engage with the traditional owners in your community and talk with them to get a first hand understanding of the issues for them in the community. The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Islander Studies provides advice on how to find out whose country you’re on.
Our good friends at Support Act have done a cracking job at summarising the important aspects of The Voice to Parliament and have given us permission to share their resources with you and your staff. Make sure you read it in full and check out the resources and media links at the end of the page. Kudos to you Support Act!!