Professor Tom Calma AO has requested, and the Board of Reconciliation Australia has agreed to, a leave of absence while he undertakes the role of Co-Chair of the Senior Advisory Group of the Indigenous Voice co-design process.
The Board appreciates Prof Calma’s approach and commitment to good governance, indicative of the high principles he holds, and demonstrating why he is held in such high regard within the Indigenous and broader communities.
Reconciliation Australia remains supportive of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the recommendations in the final Referendum Council Report which represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s views.
The work of the Senior Advisory Group and the two Co-Design Groups will look at mechanisms for ensuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a say in the matters that affect them which is fundamental to reconciliation.
Prof Calma will resume as Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia at the completion of the work of the Senior Advisory Group. In his absence, Mr Glen Kelly will assume the Indigenous Co-Chair role and I remain as non-Indigenous Co-Chair.
– Ms Melinda Cilento
Co-Chair, Reconciliation Australia
Statement from Professor Tom Calma AO
I am honoured to accept the invitation from The Hon. Ken Wyatt AM Minister for Indigenous Australians to Co-Chair the Senior Advisory Group of the Indigenous Voice co-design process.
This is an important next step to articulate how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are to be included in the decision making process of government.
As Co-Chair of the Senior Advisory Group my role is to listen and reflect the aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to develop in partnership models for a voice.
Given the significance of this process and to avoid any perception of conflict I have asked the Board of Reconciliation Australia for a leave of absence while I undertake this work.
Reconciliation Australia’s role in supporting the Uluru Statement from the Heart and constitutional reform remains unchanged.