Catalpa supports the YES vote for Australia’s Indigenous Voice Referendum
Oct. 13, 2023
Over 80% of First Nation Australians support the campaign for a Indigenous Voice. Voting YES will show we have listened.
This weekend Australians have the opportunity to vote to enshrine an Indigenous Voice in Australia’s constitution. The Voice will provide advice to parliament and the executive government of the Commonwealth on issues affecting First Nations peoples.
The Voice is one of three aspects outlined in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, along with Treaty and Truth-telling. The Statement was created by Indigenous Australians to offer a practical way to formally recognise the longest continuous living culture in the world, and increase agency for Aboriginal people to contribute to decisions about their own communities.
It is well documented that Indigenous communities are burdened with a wide range of social challenges as a result of the impacts of colonisation. Health outcomes, life expectancies, incarceration rates, family and community violence and other systemic issues stem from decades of government policies that fail to properly recognise and protect Indigenous rights and culture.
As an organisation, we believe the most important aspects of bringing about positive social change are respect, listening, and taking action to support the agency of others. This is something we practise in our approach to international development work, and The Voice is no different.
Over 80% of Indigenous Australians support the Yes vote, and we believe it is time to listen.
We also recognise that some Indigenous people have concerns about instituting Voice before Treaty and Truth. We respect their views, and appreciate the complexity of asking non-Indigenous Australians to cast a vote on giving formal recognition to the traditional owners of the land.
As non-indigenous Australians we believe that the right choice is to vote with the majority of Aboriginal people and vote YES. YES will allow Australia to progress work to close the gap and increase collaborative efforts between Indigenous leaders, experts, and communities, and the Australian government in order to achieve meaningful change.
Conversely, a NO vote could stall progress on reconciliation and Indigenous rights for decades. It will simply be yet another example of failing to listen to Indigenous Australians and denying the systemic challenges they face as a result of colonisation.
We acknowledge there are a wide range of views and perspectives surrounding the referendum and simply urge Australians to educate themselves on what the Voice is - and is not - through fact-based credible sources. In doing so, we believe many Australians will choose to vote YES to create a more inclusive and equitable society where Indigenous Australians have a genuine voice and a meaningful role in shaping their own future.
Learn more about The Voice at voice.gov.au.