Reconciliation Australia welcomes the Referendum Council’s report and acknowledges the months of listening, consultation and consideration that have resulted in its singular recommendation for referendum – a First Nations’ Voice to our country’s parliament.
It is understood by all involved in the reconciliation process, including the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, that the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are critical to genuine reform and reconciliation.
The people participating in the consultation process have strongly favoured a “voice to parliament” as a form of recognition that they consider to be genuinely empowering.
This call cannot be ignored.
We know from the strong public support for the Recognise campaign, that our nation is ready for change. Australians want a more just and unified nation.
Our deep sense of what is fair demands that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a voice in the policies and laws that affect their lives.
There is more work to be done to support the transition of the Council’s recommendation into a referendum question that can be understood and supported by the majority of Australians.
The Council’s consultations and final report also bring to light a number of key issues important to Australia’s First Peoples and our reconciliation journey. These too require our leaders’ attention.
There is a great opportunity before us, let’s not lose momentum.
Let’s take this next step towards a truly reconciled nation.
Professor Tom Calma AO, Co-Chair Reconciliation Australia
Ms Melinda Cilento, Co-Chair Reconciliation Australia