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The Voice to Parliament

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

Statement from the National Centre for Cultural Competence

The referendum on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament asks us to make one of the most crucial decisions in our lifetime, to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Australian Constitution.

It will create a mechanism for their Voices to be heard in real and practical ways, and to rectify an absence that has always been present.

We acknowledge that a Voice in the Constitution is not everything. It doesn’t preclude the need for Treaty, or Treaties. It won’t instantly fix all the issues such as gaps in life expectancy, over-representation in the justice system and racism, which is evident across all facets of life.

What it will do is honour the rightful place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples of this land. It will provide a mechanism for First Nations people to give advice to the Federal Parliament, to have appropriate input into laws and policies which affect their communities. It will change the relationship between government and communities and how real and practical change is created and delivered.

The National Centre for Cultural Competence supports a Yes vote. As individuals and a group, we have come to this position after listening carefully and hearing the call for a Voice. We have reflected on what it means for Australia if we don’t stand up and take this opportunity to honour and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their rightful place as the First Peoples of this land.

This webpage is intended to be a hub to help you find resources that will assist you in understanding the issues and to make your own decision.

The Yes Campaign

The Yes campaign is being led by Yes23, a group of advocates and campaigners who have come together to lead the education campaign for the Yes vote. On this website, you will find easy explainers about the referendum and what it means; a guide on how to have conversations about the Voice and other useful resources.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation to the Australian people from First Nations Australians. It asks Australians to walk together to build a better future by establishing a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution, and the establishment of a Makarrata Commission for the purpose of treaty-making and truth-telling. This website has useful resources to help understand the consultation processes that led to the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Blackfella Films, led by Rachel Perkins, has produced this film which succinctly outlines the background to the Uluru Statement of the Heart and the Voice to Parliament. The film highlights the long period of time that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been calling for recognition and representation.

This video from the University of Sydney Law School discusses the significance of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the importance of #YestoVoice in Australia's constitution and Parliament.

Statements in support for The Voice across the University 

Faculties, schools and centres across the campus continue to speak out in support of the Voice and the Uluru Statement form the Heart. 

The following schools, centres and portfolios are also in support of the Voice but have yet to release formal statements:

  • School of Chemistry voted to support a Yes vote following a school-wide consultation process.
  • The School of Geosciences.

Voices on the Voice

Noel Pearson on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament

A keynote address by University of Sydney alumnus Noel Pearson (BA '87, LL B '93), a proud leader from the Guugu Yimidhirr community of Hopevale on the Eastern Cape York Peninsula, and hailed as one of the best orators in Australia. An AUSLAN translation of this video is also available online

Marcia Langton on the Voice and dispelling misinformation.

A keynote address by prominent anthropologist and geography Professor Marcia Langton AO, on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament. 

Professor Tom Calma AO on First Nations Health and the Voice

Watch Profesor Tom Calma AO, a proud Kungarakan Elder and one of Australia's most respected human rights campaigners, discuss First Nations Health and the Voice to Parliament.

Voices from Our Community

Hear from the University of Sydney staff and student community in our Voices on the Voice: Voices from our Community vox pop series. You can watch a number of our vox pop videos in this YouTube playlist

Books on The Voice to Parliament

The Voice to Parliament Handbook, Thomas Mayo & Kerry O'Brien

Indigenous leader Thomas Mayo and acclaimed journalist Kerry O’Brien have written an easy-to-follow guide for the millions of Australians who have expressed support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart, but want to better understand what a Voice to Parliament actually means.

The Voice to Parliament Handbook answers the most commonly asked questions about why the Voice should be enshrined in the Constitution, and how it might function to improve policies affecting Indigenous communities. It offers simple explanations, useful anecdotes, historic analogies and visual representations. If you are a staff member or student, the e-book is available through the University Library.

The Voice, A Question to the People, co-edited by Lisa Jackson Pulver

Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Services & Strategy, has co-edited this free and digitally available book that aims to promote respectful conversation and informed debate on the referendum. The Voice, A Question to the People examines the evidence and arguments in a non partisan manner to facilitate facts-based dialogue and empower Australians with their voting this October. You can read the full text or download a pdf version here

Upcoming events

Description Location Date and Time Register
Dr Charles Perkins AO Memorial Oration The Great Hall Tuesday 19 September, 5.30pm - 7.30pm (AEST) Register now
Confident Conversations on the Voice Workshop (Staff only). Michael Spence Building Wednesday 20 September, 12.00pm-2.00pm (AEST) Register now
The Voice: It Works | Panel Social Sciences Building Monday 25 September 5.30pm - 7.30pm (AEST) Register now


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