On the 14th of October 2023, Australians will vote in the Voice Referendum, a historic referendum that will decide whether to amend the constitution to create a Voice for Parliament and Government.
The Voice referendum results from an extensive process of consultation and collaboration between the federal government, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the broader Australian public. It was announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (ALP, centre-left) in early 2021 and has been met with widespread support from both sides of politics, as well as from Indigenous leaders and the broader Australian public.
The Voice referendum seeks to create a constitutionally-recognised body of Indigenous people to advise the Parliament and the Government on matters relating to Indigenous Australians. This body would be composed of Indigenous people from all regions of Australia and act as a direct link between the Government and Indigenous people.
The referendum will be a hugely significant moment in Australian history and the first time since 1967 that the Australian people have been asked to amend the Constitution. It is also essential to achieving true and lasting reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
If the referendum is passed, it will create a pathway for Indigenous people to have their voices heard and respected in the political process. It will also be a significant step towards the Government's commitment to Closing the Gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
No matter the referendum's outcome, it is clear that Prime Minister Albanese and the Government have made a significant commitment to Indigenous people and the pursuit of true and lasting reconciliation. The referendum is an opportunity for all Australians to show their support for this commitment and help create a future where Indigenous people are recognised and respected in politics.