Disclaimer: All Voice to Parliament content is for informational purposes only and is not reflective of the views of Future Group Services (Australia) Pty Ltd. Future Group makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity, of any information. We will not be liable for any errors, omissions arising from its display.
The First Nations Voice to Parliament referendum took place on Saturday 14 October, 2023.
We want to ensure all Future Group employees have enough information to make an informed decision, and so will be focusing on ensuring that resources are delivered in a broad range of formats that suit different learning styles.
What is the Uluru Statement from the Heart?
The Uluru Statement from the Heart was born from a series of regional dialogues held across the country, culminating in a National Constitutional Convention at Uluru in 2017.
The purpose of the 12 dialogues and one regional meeting was to consult and educate, resulting in the most proportionally significant consultation of First Nations peoples the country has ever seen. You can explore the dialogues here.
The Uluru Statement calls for legal and structural reforms to reshape the relationship between First Nations Peoples and people living in Australia. You can listen to the Uluru Statement from the Heart in your own language here.
The Statement calls for two substantive changes: Voice and Makarrata.
Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution.
A Makarrata Commission to supervise:
Truth telling about our history
The Statement calls for real and lasting structural change to our current systems of authority and decision making, rather than surface changes to existing systems.
It is a path forward for justice and self-determination for First Nations Peoples in this country.
You can find a history of the process here since invasion.
What is the First Nations Voice to Parliament?
The First Nations Voice to Parliament is the first reform called for in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. This is a Constitutionally-enshrined body of First Nations representatives with a direct line to Federal Parliament, able to influence laws and policies that affect First Nations communities first-hand – at the point they originate. A constitutional Voice is both symbolic and substantive recognition.
If the outcome is Yes at the referendum, the following amendment will be made in the Constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and outline how the Voice will work with the Government of the day:
Chapter IX Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
129 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice
In recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia:
There shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice;
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to the Parliament and the Executive Government of the Commonwealth on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws with respect to matters relating to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, including its composition, functions, powers and procedures.