Wolli Creek Preservation Society encourages Australians to give generous consideration to the case for a Yes vote in the upcoming referendum to recognise the First Nations people of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
The following is our statement in support of a YES vote. Links to further information and resources follow.
We support a First Nations Voice to Parliament
The Wolli Creek Preservation Society aims to ensure the preservation of the natural and cultural heritage of the Wolli Creek Valley. Wolli Creek flows through the cultural landscape of the Cadigal and Bidgigal clans, who are among the many first peoples of Australia who have cared for this country for more than 60,000 years.
Colonisation has threatened the wellbeing of both the land and its First Nations people. The evidence of this is compelling. Australia’s colonial history is also replete with failures to listen to and learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The upcoming referendum is an historic opportunity to make a modest but important change that will promote the self-determination of First Nations people. The Voice will allow First Nations people to offer advice to parliament on policies and decisions that affect their lives, including their health, education, employment, and housing.
To remain silent about this referendum would be to support an unacceptable status quo. To oppose the constitutional change would be to miss an historic opportunity to right some wrongs and extend the achievements of the 1967 referendum.
We acknowledge that for some, the Voice to Parliament does not go far enough. There are also those who seek to stoke uncertainty, fear, and division among Australians ahead of the referendum. However, the purpose of the Voice is clear. It will enable all Australians—and indeed the very land we share, and all the life it supports—to benefit from Indigenous cultural heritage and knowledge.
For these reasons, the Committee of the Wolli Creek Preservation Society supports a YES vote in the upcoming referendum. We encourage all Australians to get informed and to get involved. To this end, we provide a list of information and resources below.
Information and Resources
Yes 23 is a grassroots coalition led by Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition Ltd. The website has resources, information about the referendum, and provides opportunities to learn, volunteer and donate.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart was born from a series of regional dialogues between First Nations people held across the country, culminating in a National Constitutional Convention at Uluru in 2017. The website explores the statement, the history, and the dialogues that underpin it, and provides a supporter kit which steps through how you can help spread the message of the Uluru Statement and encourage other Australians to accept the invitation.
Together, Yes invites people from all walks of life to gather in small group discussions and engage in an honest reckoning of the harm and injustice of our colonial past; Australia’s history of constitutional indifference, and how a Voice to parliament can make a difference.
Reconciliation Australia has a useful site on the Voice referendum with clear and concise information. One topic it explores is the nearly 100 years that First Nations people in Australia have been asking for a Voice.
This article in the Conversation answers ten frequent questions about the Voice, providing a great resource before talking with friends and family who may have unanswered questions.
Allies for Uluru provides tools and resources for talking to communities, including multicultural resources, social media assets and more.
Walking Together: Workshops and training developed by Youth Off The Streets’ trainers (First Nations and non-Indigenous) give people from all cultural backgrounds the tools they need to walk with First Nations Australians towards a fairer and more just Australia.
TEDX “The Uluru Statement From the Heart: An Idea who’s time has come“: This powerful talk by Dean Parkin is an absolute must-watch.
“Reckoning with Australia’s Settler Colonial History”: In this podcast from ABC Radio National’s Big Ideas, we hear from Aboriginal legal experts Megan Davis and Teela Reid, who believe a First Nations Voice to Parliament in the constitution is the necessary first step.
Download a pdf version of this statement.