We acknowledge Wurundjeri Country where this text was written, and its ongoing sovereign claim and care by Wurundjeri elders past and present. We also acknowledge of Bunurong, Wadawurrung, Gadigal, Akabakal and Worimi, Birpai, Kaurna, and Yuggera Countries and their elders, past and present, where members of this organisation and the people we support work and live.
Nextt Group proudly supports the national conversation on Voice to Parliament
With the announcement of the referendum date, we are proud to support the right of everyone to participate in the conversation and subsequent First Nations Voice to Parliament Referendum on 14 October 2023.
As part of our commitment to reconciliation, Nextt welcomes the Voice to Parliament referendum as it reflects a powerful step in debating constitutional change and structural reform.
This conversation should be a constructive, informed and respectful dialogue as it is a continuation of the vision outlined in the Uluru Statement from the Heart presented to the nation in 2017. We understand and respect that our clients, partners and employees hold varying views on this national conversation, and we firmly support the ability for everyone to have informed conversations to understand this complex matter and make individual decisions.
“Nextt firmly support the human rights of all people to self-determination, to have a voice and representation in all conversations and decisions that impact them, and to be the lead voice in matters relating to them. We recognise the importance of this process to move forward in a way that is meaningful with lasting impact in recognising Australia’s past and shaping its future,” said Chief Executive Officer of Nextt, Jennifer Morgan.
Nextt plans to make real, meaningful and specific contributions to reconciliation by taking this opportunity to reflect on and further develop our relationships with First Nations stakeholders, understanding our role in reconciliation and the sphere of influence in which we can make meaningful and sustainable changes in our own practices.
Nextt will continue to support our people to provide diverse, equitable and inclusive services and a workplace where all people, including First Nations people, feel supported, respected and safe, and are able to get more out of life.
Asking important questions about the Voice
We acknowledge that each individual should make their own decision when it comes to voting in the Voice to Parliament Referendum. To support that decision making, we have provided access to information and resources here.
Why Nextt supports the Voice to Parliament referendum?
It’s important that if you’re an enrolled voter, that you are informed on the matter when you vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
Nextt supports the Voice to Parliament referendum for the following reasons:
- As a human rights based organisation, Nextt fully recognises the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family. Representation and voice are key for any country that values freedom, justice and peace for all its people.
- The impact of lack of representation and structural inequalities on First Nations people is clearly evidenced in needing structural and long-lasting change.
- These impacts are particularly evident for First Nations people who are twice as likely than the rest of the Australian community to have a disability.
- First Nations people have raised their voice to identify the solution. This should be heard and respected, as all of us would want in our time of struggle and need.
Each individual should make their own decision when voting in the 2023 referendum.
What are the main considerations of the Voice Referendum?
Arguments for and against enshrining the Voice
- Voice: Legal Realities and Both Sides Debate | Rule of Law Education Centre
- Voice to Parliament: Here are the key arguments for the Yes and No campaigns
- Uluru-Statement-from-the-Heart-Easy-Read-Guide.pdf (haveyoursay.net)
Do Australians want change?
What is Voice to Parliament?
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice
On 14 October 2023, Australians will have their say in a referendum about whether to change the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
The Voice would be an independent and permanent advisory body. It would give advice to the Australian Parliament and Government on matters that affect the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have called for members of the Voice to be chosen by First Nations peoples based on the wishes of local communities.
What work has been done so far?
The Voice was proposed in the Uluru Statement from the Heart presented to the nation by delegates to the First Nations National Constitutional Convention on 26 May 2017 over four days near Uluru in Central Australia calling for, “… the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution and a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making and truth-telling about our history.”
- The Voice: what is it, where did it come from, and what can it achieve? (unsw.edu.au)
- What are Aboriginal people saying about the Voice to Parliament? – ABC News
- Voice to Parliament is based on the Nordic Sami Parliaments (The Nordic Policy Centre)
- The Voice Design Principles – Uluru Statement from the Heart
- 100 Years of calls for Voice – Reconciliation Australia
- What is the Indigenous Voice to Parliament? Here’s how it would work and who’s for and against it
What is the referendum question and how will it affect the constitution?
“A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Do you approve this proposed alteration?”
The proposed law that Australians are being asked to approve at the referendum would insert the following lines into the Constitution:
“Chapter IX Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
129 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice
In recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia:
- there shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice;
- the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to the Parliament and the Executive Government of the Commonwealth on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
- the Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws with respect to matters relating to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, including its composition, functions, powers and procedures.”
What is a referendum and what is the process?
Check your enrolment status and more here: Referendum 2023 (aec.gov.au)