The Voice is a “mirror to Australia”May 26, 2023
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a mirror to Australia saying, “Look how much we’ve already done as a nation.” It’s just time to bring it home.
– Professor Megan Davis, John Menadue Oration, 2020
The Centre for Policy Development (CPD) supports a Voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and supports a Yes vote in the 2023 referendum.
CPD’s work has repeatedly shown that public policy works best when all the voices of those experiencing the policy are heard in the process of its design and implementation.
The Voice is a key objective of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, along with a Makarrata Commission for truth-telling and agreement-making.
It has the support of Australia’s biggest First People’s democratically elected body, the First People’s Assembly of Victoria, as well as the Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations in addition to countless Indigenous organisations, unions, business and sporting bodies.
We know Australia is capable of a response that meets the spirit of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. We believe that the referendum should and will have the support of the majority of Australians.
In 2020, Professor Megan Davis delivered CPD’s John Menadue Oration, on the question of “Can Australia Deliver?”
As a member of the Prime Minister’s Referendum Council, Professor Davis was instrumental in the development of the Uluru Statement From the Heart, one of the most important Australian documents since Federation.
Professor Davis said, “It’s important that constitutional reform for First Nations people is regarded as a discrete and serious issue of public policy, like climate change, banking regulation or superannuation.” She concluded by saying, “It’s just time to bring it home. ”
Our constitution was designed as a living document to incorporate changes on issues that go to the heart of our national identity and purpose as times change.
This year, Australia can choose to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s unbroken connection to Country according to the reckoning of Aboriginal culture, from the Creation, according to the common law from ‘time immemorial’, and according to science more than 60 millennia.
We can choose to embed a Voice for First Nations people in our nation’s foundational document.
We can choose to enrich our institutions with the knowledge, values and culture from 60,000 years of history.
This is a first step to fulfilling the vision of the Uluru Statement – of Voice, Treaty and Truth. To empower First Peoples to take their rightful place in a country where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture will be a gift to all Australians.
We must take this step to recognise our past, progress in the present, and create a future where we all flourish. In 2023, it’s just time to bring it home.
CPD understands that reconciliation with, and recognition of, First Peoples is a daily commitment. CPD is committed to undertaking this with humility and in conversation and relationship with First Peoples.
Republished from CPD Centre for Policy Development May 25, 2023