09 Oct 2023Opinion
From the CEO: Let’s make our voices heard in the referendum
History is calling. This Saturday, we will face a decision that holds great significance for all of us and the future of our nation – the proposed establishment of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament.
On October 14, I’ll be voting yes. I’m voting yes because, simply put, it’s the right thing to do. I love Australia and I feel it is the right thing and will be benefit all Australians. I’m committed to reconciliation, to closing the gap, to realising makarrata – a Yolngu word that means coming together after a conflict. I believe First Nations communities should have a say through the Voice on policies and laws that affect them – it’s that simple.
The Voice to Parliament will harness the great strength and wisdom in First Nations communities and ensure those voices shape decisions that affect their lives.
It’s a simple but powerful proposal.
At SSI, our formal position on the Voice to Parliament reflects our commitment to social justice and reconciliation. We understand that this is an opportunity to listen, learn, and build a more inclusive and equitable Australia. We know first-hand the transformative impact of putting community at the heart of everything we do, and that is what the Voice is about.
I encourage you to engage with this issue – to listen to the stories and experiences of First Nations peoples, and to fact check what you’re hearing in the media and community, and on social media.
The question before us is clear: “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 alteration?”
This is what the great majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have asked for – meaningful recognition in Australia’s constitution. Let us stand with them and show we believe in recognition, reconciliation and a more inclusive Australia on referendum day.