A positive step forward for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament
We support the call for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament that will see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have greater say on the design, development and implementation of policies and programs that affect them.
A positive step forward for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
20 December 2021.
In 2019, we joined a group of 22 leaders in the finance sector issuing a joint declaration for Australians to embrace the Uluru Statement from the Heart – seeking constitutional change to recognise First Australians through a Voice (a Voice) to Parliament.
In 2020, From The Heart campaign was established to take up the call of the Uluru Statement for a constitutionally-enshrined Voice to Parliament. It advocated for Australian people to come together through a referendum to make this fair and long due change.
The campaign received overwhelming support resulting in the government delivering the Final Report of the Indigenous Voice Co-Design Process on 17 December 2021. The report, viewed as a positive step forward, acknowledges the weight of public support in favour of a Voice having a constitutional guarantee.
We support this next step forward in seeing a referendum on a Voice in the next term of parliament.
What is the Final Report of the Indigenous Voice Co-Design Process?
The report builds on proposals from the Indigenous Voice Co-design Process Interim Report to the Australian Government, released October 2020. Through consultation and engagement, Australians in 67 locations provided feedback to the government.
Key themes emerged which informed the final report. Notably, the overwhelming support for the need for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, through which Indigenous Australians would have a greater say on the design, development and implementation of policies and programs that affect them.
A Voice would also provide:
• effective partnership mechanisms at the local and regional level for all governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians to work together and improve outcomes, and, • opportunities for the Australian Parliament and Government to seek advice on relevant federal laws, policies and programs from the National Voice¹.
Why is a referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament critical?
A referendum on a Voice is our best chance to finally Close the Gap and achieve equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in health and life expectancy within a generation.
Closing the Gap seeks to improve the life outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with respect to health and wellbeing, education, employment, justice, safety, housing, land and waters and languages.
Over two centuries, Australia has failed policies directed towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These policies were created without adequate engagement from Aboriginal Peoples, the most directly affected stakeholders. Change is urgently needed so that, in line with the UN Declaration² on the rights of indigenous people, First Nations’ rights can be acknowledged, affirmed and met.
If you’d like to learn more about why U Ethical supports From The Heart and the critical need for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, please get in touch.