We would like to first acknowledge the Traditional Owners of this land, the Wadda Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation, and pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging and their continuing connection to land, water, Spirit, and Country.
The Voice to Parliament Referendum came from the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which was an invitation to the Australian People. It was an invitation to walk with First Nations in a movement for a better future for all Australians.
Towards the end of this year, all Australians will have their say by voting in a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia through an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice enshrined in our Constitution.
All Australians have the right to vote on this matter in the referendum. We encourage everyone in the Community to be informed to make their own choice, and to have respect for different viewpoints and opinions from their own.
Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative has spent time considering all the information available, held numerous Community consultations, and conducted a survey to gain an understanding of what Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community members think about the Voice to Parliament. Through all our consultations, we have found that many of our Community members are in favour of the Voice to Parliament.
On behalf of the organisation and based on the feedback we have received from our Community, the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative Board support the YES position in the Voice to Parliament Referendum. The Board believe that the Voice to Parliament will give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Communities a say in the laws and policies that affect us in our daily lives.
The Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Australian Constitution is not the end point for us – it is another step in the long journey that First Nations peoples have taken to be acknowledged, counted, and heard.
The referendum that was held in 1967 saw more than 90% of the population vote “Yes” to having Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people counted as part of the Australian population.
In 1967, we were counted. In 2023, we want our Voice to be heard.
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