As a member of the Allies For Uluru Coalition, along with 180 other civil society organisations across the country, The Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education welcome and endorse the agreed wording for constitutional change and a First Nations Voice to Parliament announced by the Prime Minister on Thursday last.
We have heard the message of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders of the Uluru Statement From the Heart seeking Voice, Treaty, Truth and we stand with the hundreds of thousands of First Nations people that are calling for this simple and modest reform.
As the Prime Minister said:
“Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in our Constitution is the best chance this country has had to address the injustices of the past and move Australia forward for everyone, and the best way to do this is to give people a voice.”
The recommendation of the working group with agreement of the government is to ask Australians to amend the Constitution to include:
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; and
- 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.
By answering this question:
A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice
Do you approve this proposed alteration?
The answer needed from a majority of Australians, in a majority of states, is Yes.
This is a simple proposition for Recognition and Consultation. Edmund Rice Centre believe this is a good proposal that will bring First Nations Voices into the heart of our national dialogue and support the practical changes that we all hope to see.
The Allies for Uluru stand together with the many First Nations peoples on the path to a successful Referendum and beyond – we support Yes.