Later this year, Australians will have the opportunity to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our Constitution through a Voice to Parliament.

On this page I’ll go through what this means in practice and why I am voting Yes.

The Voice will:

  • Ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have their voices heard by Parliament and Government on the issues that affect them
  • Be chosen by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Be accountable and transparent
  • Work alongside existing organisations and traditional structures

The Voice will NOT:

  • Have a veto power over any legislation or government decisions
  • Deliver any government programmes
  • Take anything away from non-Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australians

Why I am voting Yes to a Voice

For 122 years our Constitution has not recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians as the first peoples of this land.

This perpetuates the lie that our country’s story started with European settlement and ignores the more than 60,000 years of continuous connection to this land by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

In February 2023, leaders from Australia’s major religious organisations wrote an open letter to parliamentarians calling on them to “find ways to collaborate constructively across political divides to achieve the modest constitutional recognition First Nations people seek: a constitutionally guaranteed Voice in their own affairs.”

I think it is important to recognise that the Voice to Parliament is a modest proposal. Non-Indigenous Australians are not being asked to ‘give anything up’.

But just because the ask is modest does not mean it is inconsequential. Formalising consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our Constitution will lead to better policies and better outcomes.

I believe we should appreciate and accept this generous invitation to walk with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people towards a better future, a means of recognition and a way forward for healing and learning together.

I am a Christian and I am happy that leaders of my faith and other faith groups are actively supporting a ‘Yes’ vote on the Voice. This aligns with the proud Christian history of standing up for the most vulnerable in society and building community.

Australians from all faiths, backgrounds and political parties are supporting the Voice.  It is my hope that this will be a unifying moment for Australia that goes beyond traditional allegiances.

Let’s seize this opportunity and wake up the day after the referendum to a better Australia.

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