There will be a referendum held in the second half of the year asking Australians to vote to enshrine an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament in the Constitution. The Voice will be in the form of a representative body to advise the Government on issues and policies relevant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The process started in May 2017, when over 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates gathered at Uluru for the National Constitutional Convention (23 to 26 May). The Convention brought together a diverse group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to discuss and agree on constitutional reform.
From this convention, the Uluru Statement from the Heart was created. This statement is an invitation from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to all Australians to
‘walk with us in a movement for a better future’
The three core components of the Uluru Statement From the Heart:
Voice, Treaty, Truth
Voice refers to a First Nations Voice, guaranteed by the constitution to provide a permanent platform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices to be heard by parliament.
A Treaty is an agreement between First Nations peoples and State and Federal Governments of Australia. This treaty will aim to protect the rights and interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Australia is the only Commonwealth nation who don’t have a signed treaty with First Nations peoples.
Truth telling: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have long called for a comprehensive process of truth-telling about Australia’s history with acknowledgment of colonial conflict and dispossession, alongside the strength and resilience of First Nation peoples.
Australians are to decide in a referendum to be held this year to change the constitution. Australia’s constitution does not recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ prior occupation and custodianship of their land.
To learn more about the history of the Uluru Statement and the Indigenous Voice to Parliament this online course is excellent. Click on the link below.
For translations into other languages and in AUSLAN go here
For more information and background about the story so far, reserve a copy of any of these titles below.