Resources for the Referendum

On the 14th of October, we will be asked to vote on whether or not to establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to parliament.

As the Referendum date approaches, the Fair Agenda team wanted to share some resources that you might find helpful to inform how you vote, as well as the resources and support services available for First Nations people who are being impacted by the debate. 

The Fair Agenda movement exists to campaign for a fair and just future - one where we can all live with safety, security and agency over our lives, no matter our gender. To achieve that future, we must address the historical and ongoing marginalisation of First Nations people, especially First Nations women.

We know that laws and policies are more effective when those of us affected by them have a say. But all too often governments have ignored First Nations people when making important decisions about them - perpetuating systemic injustices including violence, health disparities, and other forms of inequality. 

So before you write your answer to the referendum question; we want to share these messages from First Nations advocates about why writing Yes matters: 

Larissa Baldwin-Roberts on how millions of us writing Yes makes so much more possible. 

Dr Jackie Huggins AM, Professor Marcia Langton AO and Emily Carter on why the Voice is so important for future generations.

Nova Peris OAM on the way that Australian laws since colonisation have been used to exclude and hurt Aboriginal people; and the opportunity a Voice would create.

Tanya Hosch speaking just one day after she left hospital, about listening to the voices of communities who know the problems they face and solutions they need.

Antoinette Braybrook on how the Voice creates an opportunity for First Nations people to apply a lived experience lens to government policies.

Amelia Telford on focusing on the shared vision of First Nations Communities, and seeing the Referendum as a step along the journey to realising those shared visions.

Ensuring First Nations people have a seat at the table and a greater say in their future is critical to realising a fairer and better future.

But every representative body for First Nations people in the past has been torn up by subsequent governments who didn’t like what they were saying. When the majority of us write Yes in the referendum, we can create a permanent representative body that will represent communities and can say what needs to be said.

Right across Australia there are examples where Aboriginal health, housing, education and justice are significantly improving. These programs are most successful when they are created, run and controlled by Aboriginal people who have the cultural knowledge and hands on experience of what works best. 

The Fair Agenda team holds respect and understanding for the diverse range of opinions held by First Nations advocates and communities inside and outside of our movement. We agree that change needs to be much bigger than just a Voice - that we need transformative change. 

If the overwhelming majority of people write Yes, we will have the momentum for big reforms and transformative changes including treaties, land rights, truth-telling and justice. Over the next decade, we can work together to leave future generations more united, where First Nations people are respected, listened to and treated with dignity.

We are also conscious that the public discussion around the Voice is having a significant impact on First Nations people - which is why we also want to share National Indigenous Television’s advice and resources from First Nations mental health professionals about the support services and online safety resources available to mob.

In solidarity,

The Fair Agenda team 

Remember, you have to be registered to vote to have a say in the referendum. If you’ve recently changed your name or address, you might need to update your details on the electoral roll. Go here to register or change your details:  

You can find out more and get involved in the Yes23 campaign here.