The Voice - Vote YES
A Voice for our people and our future.
In 2023 the Australian government will ask all Australians to decide: Should we recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in The Constitution, with a Voice?
If this vote, or referendum, is successful, it will do two things:
- Give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their history recognition in the Australian constitution.
- Establish a Voice to Parliament, which will give Indigenous Australians a platform to advise the government on laws and policies that affect Indigenous people.
To ensure a better future for our people, our communities and our culture we must start having a say in decisions that affect us.
It’s time the Voice of Aboriginal people is heard!
Vote YES in the 2023 referendum!
- 1. What is ‘the Voice’?
It is our Voice, the Voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, talking directly to Government about issues and things that improve our communities.
The Voice will send messages from our homelands and communities direct to Canberra.
The Voice will be made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives from communities around Australia – How these representative are chosen will be decided in collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The Voice is one of three things asked for in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. These were: the Voice; Treaty; and Truth Telling.
- 2. How has the Voice been developed?
Before the Uluru Statement from the Heart was written by 250 delegates from all across Australia, there was extensive Australia wide consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people called Regional Dialogues.
12 Regional Dialogues occurred between 2016 -2017; at Darwin, Ross River, Torres Strait, Cairns, Brisbane, Dubbo, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth.
The Voice was developed through these dialogues.
- 3. What needs to happen for the Voice to be created?
For the Voice to be included in the Constitution, the Australian public will need to vote in a Referendum.
All Australians who can vote will be asked the following simple question:
“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 this proposed alteration?”
A majority Australians in the majority of states need to answer YES in order for the constitution to be changed.
The Referendum will held toward the end of the year.
- 4. Why does the Voice need to be in the Australian Constitution?
The Constitution is the set of rules used to govern Australia – it is important that this document includes a rule that gives Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a platform to talk to government.
The Constitution is difficult to change and putting the Voice in the Constitution makes it strong. It will mean future Australian governments cannot shut down our Voice.
- 5. Why do we need a Voice?
Because we must have a say in decisions that affect us. It’s time the Voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is heard!
Current government policies and programs struggle to bring wide-scale positive change to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and both the public and politicians recognise outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people need to improve.
This is our opportunity to shape policies and programs that affect us.
- 6. Who will be our representatives for the Voice?
Members of the Voice will be selected by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, not appointed by the Executive Government.
Members of the Voice will be Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and will be chosen from each of the states, territories and the Torres Strait Islands. This will include choosing people from remote locations.
The Voice will have balanced gender representation and will include youth representation.
Members will serve on the Voice for a fixed period of time, to make sure there are regular opportunities for communities to decide if they are happy with the people representing them.
To ensure cultural legitimacy, the way that members of the Voice are chosen needs to suit the wishes of local communities. This process will be decided by working with the government, if the referendum is successful.
- 7. How will the Voice represent our communities?
Members of the Voice will be expected to connect with – and reflect the wishes of – their communities.
The Voice will consult with grassroots communities and regional entities, like councils and organisations, to make sure what is being spoken about with the government is what is really happening.
An important part of this will be making sure that everyone is consulted with, including people and groups who haven't been given an opportunity to participate in the past.