It’s time for true Constitutional Recognition
March 23, 2021
What an incredible night!
Last week’s event brought together Australians from all backgrounds, including young people, members of regional communities, non-Indigenous Australians and respected Indigenous elders – all for true constitutional recognition.
Mr Noel Pearson, Founder and Director Cape York Partnership
“1770, 1788, 1901 and 1967 all failed to recognise Australia’s Indigenous peoples. If not then, why not now?
We are engaged in a phase that represents our best chance to achieve recognition sought by our old people. Australians living today can bequeath to our children a Commonwealth that accords a rightful place to its original peoples.
Australia doesn’t make sense without recognition. Australia is incomplete without recognition. How could there be an Australia without its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island indigenous peoples? As long as its indigenous peoples remain unrecognised then Australia is an absurdity. A nation missing its most vital heart.” – Noel Pearson (speech excerpt)
Mr Dean Parkin, Director From the Heart
“There are those peddling gradualism on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people today by proposing to only legislate a Voice without first holding a referendum to enshrine it in the Constitution. We are told to accept the realpolitik of change, as if the practical realities of our current condition are not staring us in the face, in our communities, on a daily basis.
Our call for a Voice is animating that fundamentally Australian idea of a fair-go. The people know it is time for our nation to extend a fair go to Aboriginal and Torres Strait people through a historic referendum on a Voice.
An unspoken gap exists between Australians inspired by the Uluru Statement and the political and bureaucratic gradualists: It is one of imagination. Addressing the very real social and economic challenges is only part of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. At a deeper level, it imagines a future in which the fullness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander identity enriches our shared sense of nationhood.” – Dean Parkin (speech excerpt)
Ms Vicki Morta, first Indigenous female bosun on the Gladstone to Weipa run
“It is important that every community has a voice, a voice that needs to be heard. I say this because our communities need someone to hear and address the issues in Australia.
Our First Nations people have struggled for many years dealing with the impacts of health problems, the education system, land rights and the rights to having a Voice enshrined in the Constitution. We want control of our community, we want to deal with our children and issues our way. This is why the people in our community want their voices to be heard.
Our community people know a one-off approach does not work. We need follow up, we need someone to guide them in the right direction, encourage them. Having a strong Voice that is protected by the Constitution means we could change these programs so they work better for our youth. Our First Nation Youth are our next generation, this is why once again our voice needs to be heard.
I know that we must empower our people’s voices so they can make positive changes in their communities over the long term. That is why I will continue on having determination for a voice enshrined in the constitution. I seek my voice to be heard and my name to be known.” – Vicki Morta (speech excerpt)
The moving speeches of personal stories made a strong case for why it’s time for this change. This is the moment and we must do it now.
Thousands of supporters watched with us live and the energy both in the room and online was absolutely sensational.
This is our moment. We must take action to ensure the Voice is enshrined in the Constitution.
Here’s how you can take action:
- Sign the digital Uluru Statement Canvas to show your support
- Make a submission to government to say we need Indigenous constitutional recognition through a Voice to Parliament. Final day to submit is 31 March 2021.
- Share this information with your local communities and networks – the more people voice their support, the greater chance of change!