TaskForce supports an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament
The Uluru Statement from the Heart asks all Australians to walk together towards a better future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. TaskForce welcomes and embraces this invitation.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ deep connection to this land dates back over 65,000 years. Their continuous custodianship of that land has never been broken. The rich cultural heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples enhances the society in which we all live.
We know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples understand the best way to deliver real and practical change in their communities. Enshrining a Voice to Parliament in the Constitution will recognise Australia’s First Peoples in our nation’s founding document and bring together the diverse knowledge and experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to ensure sustainable, positive impact.
TaskForce supports constitutional recognition through an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament. We encourage all Australians to vote “Yes” in the upcoming referendum.
FAQs and resources
What is the Voice to Parliament?
A Voice to Parliament is a representative body made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians that will provide advice to parliament on laws and policies that have a particular impact on their families and communities.
It is an independent body and won’t have the power to block or veto decisions made by the government.
What difference will it make?
A Voice to Parliament provides a way of hearing the views, and accessing the specific knowledge, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples when legislation is being drafted or initiatives are being proposed. This will make sure policies and laws deliver practical results on the ground.
Why do we need a referendum?
In 2017, after many years of consultation, First Nations representatives came together to develop the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The Statement calls for “the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.” The only way to change the Australian Constitution is by holding a referendum. A successful referendum will recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution by establishing the Voice the Parliament.
There have been different advisory bodies to government in the past. But because they were not enshrined in the Constitution they were established and shut down depending on the whim of the government of the day. Enshrining the Voice in the Constitution gives it long-term security. Complex issues cannot be resolved quickly, or even over the course of a three-year term of Parliament.
Do all First Nations people support the idea of the Voice?
Not surprisingly there are a range of diverse views in First Nations communities about the Voice. Importantly the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which asks for a Voice to Parliament to be enshrined in the Constitution, was the result of many years of consultation in First Nations communities. The majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people support a Voice to Parliament.
Why is TaskForce supporting an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament?
There are many reasons TaskForce supports the establishment of a Voice to Parliament.
- aligns with our values, empowering people and creating healthy communities
- offers a fair-go for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and supports self-determination
- is a practical way to make positive change. By being enshrined in the Constitution the Voice provides the promise of real, ongoing change to the quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- was proposed after extensive consultation within First Nations communities
- offers an opportunity to bring our nation together by recognising in the Constitution the unique place Australia’s First Peoples have in our nation.
Just a note about words
The Uluru Statement from the Heart called for a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution. The question in the referendum refers to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. These are the same thing. The preferred wording has simply changed in the years since the Uluru Statement.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart
Learn more about the Voice and the Yes campaign
How to have conversations about the Voice
The Yes Guide – this document gives you good tips for having conversations about the Voice and answers some of the questions you, and people you talk to, might ask
Take this 15-20 minute online course on A Voice to Parliament from the Uluru Statement. It’s a great way to learn more about the Voice.