The Voice resource roundup
The Voice to Parliament proposal has raised many questions about the constitutional change and what it will mean for Australia. The following resources help answer some of those questions.
In late 2023, Australia will hold its first referendum in 24 years. The draft question that will be put to voters is whether to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
The Voice was proposed in the Uluru Statement from the Heart and presented to the nation on 26 May 2017 by delegates to the First Nations National Constitutional Convention, held over four days near Uluru in Central Australia.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart calls for, “… the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution and a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making and truth-telling about our history.”
The AEC covers all the legal aspects of the upcoming referendum, including details on the Constitution and the proposed changes, the timing of the referendum, enrolling to vote, a campaigners information hub and a referendum fact sheet.
Features a comprehensive section on the Design Principles of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Also includes a short online course on the Voice to Parliament, which answers questions such as ‘What is Indigenous Constitutional Recognition?’, ‘What is a Voice to Parliament?’, ‘Why is a Referendum needed?’, and ‘How you can learn more and support’. (online, free)
The Victorian Women’s Trust has established ‘Together, Yes’ to foster conversation and information sharing around the Voice to Parliament. The group is running 24 ‘kitchen table conversations’ in person and two online as a way to engage people in respectful and honest dialogue to build knowledge, sharpen insight and create real and lasting change.
An online information session is available to watch on demand.
They have also just recently an excellent ‘Need to Know‘ document, outlining key facts and follow ups to to common misconceptions.
Jefa Greenway of Greenaway Architects and Indigenous Architecture and Design Australia posted his support for the Voice on Instagram, inviting other architects to share the message “If not now, when?”
He stated: “The time is now to be on the right side of history! Time for Architects and the design profession to step up. Feel free to share & ensure we finally have a real voice … ” Greenway invites architects to share his Instagram post as a way of showing support for the Voice.
The Voice to Parliament Handbook is an easy-to-follow guide for Australians who want to better understand what a Voice to Parliament actually means. Written by Torres Strait Islander writer Thomas Mayo and respected journalist Kerry O’Brien with illustrations by Cathy Wilcox, this guide offers simple explanations, useful anecdotes, historic analogies and visual representations, to be shared among friends, family and community networks in the build-up to the referendum. If the ‘yes’ vote is successful, this book is also intended to become a keepsake of an important and emotional milestone in Australia’s history.
Monash University Law Lecturer Katie O’Bryan and Professor of Law Paula Gerber tackle some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding the Voice.
A great article written by three non-Indigenous and Indigenous academics and published in The Conversation, providing answers to ten key questions arising in the Voice debate, where the answers are often confused and distorted by misinformation.
A powerful speech by Mary Crooks AO, which she gave as part of the ‘Women For Yes’ campaign launch on Sunday 13 August 2023 at the Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne. Mary eloquently tackles the no argument and reminds us of the power of women’s activism.