School of Population Health

A First Nations Voice to Parliament: it’s not a matter for politics, it’s a basic human right

image - A First Nations Voice to Parliament: it’s not a matter for politics, it’s a basic human right

The UNSW School of Population Health fully supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the importance of a First Nations Voice to Parliament to deliver meaningful constitutional recognition and reform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  
 
Every day that a First Nations Voice is not enshrined in law is another day reinforcing the systemic-racism, discrimination and legacy of colonisation that pervades the very fabric of Australian society –across our health, social, justice, and economic systems and governments.  Every day without a Voice is contributing to the inexcusable inequities that disproportionately affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.  

While the Indigenous Voice co-design process is an important step forward, constitutional recognition is well overdue. How a First Nations Voice to Parliament ‘looks’ must be guided and shaped by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

The Government asked for community voices and the Uluru Statement from the Heart came from a properly constituted process allowing community voice to be heard. Now it is time to deliver on this. Specifically:   

  1. The Government must honour its election commitment to a referendum once a model for the Voice has been settled.  
  2. Enabling legislation for the Voice must be passed after a referendum has been held in the next term of Parliament; and  
  3. The membership model for the National Voice must ensure previously unheard Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the same chance of being selected as established leadership figures.  

 The health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People is not a matter for politics – it is a basic human right. A First Nations Voice to Parliament is a matter of the heart - of healing, of walking together to create a healthier Australia for generations to come.   

Read our submission to the Indigenous Voice Proposal here >>