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The Voice to Parliament

Voices from our community and beyond
Creating opportunities for our community to listen deeply, be heard and to be equipped with knowledge.

The University of Sydney has been and will always be a place that encourages and engages with critical conversations and open dialogue. The Referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our constitution is a historic moment for the Nation.

As a public institution, it is important we create opportunities for our community to listen deeply, be heard and to be equipped with knowledge. We will facilitate respectful conversations to ensure our community is well informed and can exercise their vote with conviction later this year.

What is a referendum?

A referendum is a nationwide vote on a proposed change to the Constitution. On the referendum day, all Australian citizens above the age of 18 will vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to one question.

In late 2023, the question that will be put forward states: “A Proposed Law: To alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice”.

According to the Australian Government, the Voice would be an independent and permanent advisory body. It would give advice to the Parliament and Government on matters that affect the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The advisory body aims to make a practical difference in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, by making their voices heard and recognised within the Australian Government and Parliament.

Associate Professor Elisa Arcioni from Sydney Law School explains the history leading up to the referendum and what it means.

Educational resources

The Australian Electoral Commission

From our community

Different parts of our community have put together resources to help you make an informed decision in the upcoming referendum.


The Voice to Parliament

Resources on the Voice to Parliament referendum.

Understanding the referendum on an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament.

Upcoming events

The Voice: It Works | Panel

How can we learn from examples of existing consultative processes in policy development to better understand the benefits of an Indigenous Voice to Parliament?

In this panel discussion hosted by the Sydney Policy Lab at the University of Sydney, and Chaired by Dr Terri Janke, we will hear from Indigenous leaders about a number of existing, empowering Indigenous consultative processes and how the next step is to require Parliament to give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people a Voice in their own affairs.

Description Location Date and time Register
The Voice: It Works | Panel Social Sciences Building Monday 25 September, 5:30 - 7:30pm (AEST) Register now

Catch up on past events

Sydney Ideas, Voices on the Voice: Noel Pearson 22 May 2023. Listen to the podcast.

Sydney Ideas, Voices on the Voice: Marcia Langton 3 August 2023. 

First Nations Health and the Voice  with Professor Tom Calma AO 14 August 2023.

  • The University of Sydney Business School recently held a First Nations Business Research Summit . This year's theme was 'The Voice and Business' and was hosted by Professor Leisa Sargent, Dean of the University of Sydney Business School. Find out more.
    This event was held on 16 August 2023


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