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The Voice to Parliament

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The Voice to Parliament

September 7, 2023

We Support The Uluru Statement

On Saturday 14 October, Australians will be asked to vote in a referendum on recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Constitution through the Voice.

The referendum is a response from the Commonwealth Government to the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which can be found here: The Statement asks Australians to support initiatives that will enable First Nations to make representations to Government on policies and issues that directly affect their communities and calls for “the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution”. The Voice would be a Constitutionally-enshrined independent body that provides advice to Government on issues that affect First Nations communities. Its composition and powers would be defined by Parliament.

Abound Communities’ governing Council supports the implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, including a First Nations Voice to Parliament.

Council considers the Statement from Heart a generous invitation from First Nations people to “walk alongside” them, and that enshrining a Voice in the Constitution is one important step – alongside Treaty and Truth – towards reconciliation and addressing the serious health and welfare challenges that First Nations peoples continue to face, as well as offering Australians an opportunity to formally recognise the value and importance of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.

Taking a position of support for the Voice to Parliament aligns with the objectives stated in our Act of Parliament, namely “to promote the advancement of native-born Victoriana”. It’s also consistent with Abound Communities’ stated values, in particular:

The Voice aligns with Abound’s commitment to Respect –

  • ‘We appreciate, embrace and celebrate our differences’
  • The aims of the Uluru Statement to improve the lives of First Nations People and to offer hope for the future aligns with our value of Kindness –
  • ‘A shared passion to support people to live fulfilling lives’

Voting in the referendum is compulsory for all Australian citizens aged 18 years and over. The Australian Electoral Commission distributes the official referendum guide and pamphlets from the “Yes” and “No” campaigns. These will be physically delivered to all residents at Abound Communities, and we have given all of our staff resources to understand the process.

Beyond the referendum and irrespective of the outcome, Abound Communities is committed to engaging with and “walking alongside” the First Nations of Victoria.