From the Heart launches ad drive calling for commitments to a referendum on a Voice to Parliament in 2023

From The Heart, the campaign for the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through a Voice to Parliament, today unveils an advertising drive calling on the major political parties to deliver on their commitments to Indigenous constitutional recognition by holding a referendum in 2023.  

The advertisement is a simple call to finally give the Australian people a say on amending the Constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first peoples of our nation.  

It also says, simply, that the recognition is only made meaningful through a Voice to Parliament that is included in the Constitution. 

Australians can expect to see it on their screens in the coming weeks, running across TV and digital channels for the remainder of the Federal Election campaign.

It presses the case for Australian political leaders deliver upon their promises to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to hold a referendum in the first term of the next Parliament.  

From the Heart director Dean Parkin said: “Our ask of the major political parties is clear, practical and fair.  

“We say: Put it to the people. 

“For 15 years we have been talking about constitutional recognition. We have long running, bi-partisan commitments to a referendum. The only way we can achieve this is through an Indigenous Voice to Parliament that is included in the Constitution. 

“Ever since John Howard first raised the idea in 2007, political leaders have been talking about making this happen. It has been supported in principle by every prime minister since. There is nothing new about this commitment, it is just time to finally deliver. 

“Now it is time to give the people of Australia their say in the matter, with a referendum in 2023 – a referendum we are confident will be successful and deliver an important moment of national unity that the country can rally around.” 

A Voice to Parliament is a simple and practical change that is our best chance at finally closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. When Indigenous people have a real say on issues that affect them, we get better results on the ground in key areas such as health and education.  

Parkin noted that both major parties have continued to show strong support for constitutional recognition in recent months. The Morrison Government completed an in-depth consultation process to consider the design of a Voice to Parliament last year, a review which made special mention of how the public submissions made a strenuous case that a Voice should be included in the Constitution.  

The Federal Opposition Leader has repeatedly committed to delivering a referendum on a Voice to Parliament. And the 2022-23 Federal Budget contains $160 million in its Contingency Reserve for funding a referendum.  

From the Heart’s campaign drive is the first major advertising drive by an Indigenous-led cause in the lead-up to a federal election

“Thanks to tireless work by many people over many years, all of the foundations are in place,” Parkin said.

“Our advertising campaign will shine a light on the missing last step: a commitment to hold this referendum and deliver lasting, practical change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  

“Australians know this is a fair go. It’s time to finally put this to the people.”  

The advertisement will start appearing on screens in May and can be viewed at: https://referendum2023.com.au/