Indigenous Leaders Celebrate the Wording of the Voice to Parliament Referendum

On March 23, our Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, dipped his toes into history. He did this by announcing the potential wording of the First Nations Voice to Parliament referendum.

This is so important. If Australia votes for a Voice, then a group of First Nations peoples that advises the government on First Nations issues will be established. Because the stakes of this situation are so high, it’s imperative that the wording of the referendum is correct.

Albanese said the wording of the First Nations Voice referendum is as follows: “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?”

“That’s the question before the Australian people, continued Albanese. “Nothing more, but nothing less.”

So, now that the referendum has been released, how are people reacting to it? Well, the Uluṟu Dialogue, a massive proponent of the Voice, is very pleased with its wording.

As Pat Anderson AO, the Uluṟu Dialogue Co-Chair, said, “We commend the government for actively taking our advice and working with us to ensure the First Nations Voice is successful.”

“We invite the rest of Parliament now to recognise all the work by First Nations peoples that has preceded the announcement today and support the change to the Constitution.”

However, it’s worth noting that this referendum isn’t set in stone. Its wording is to be debated on the floor of our Federal Parliament. Anyone from the Greens, to the Liberals, to the independents, can suggest alterations, which might result in it changing. 

“There is still work to do, but we are so close now,” said Anderson. “The Australian people have something to get behind. We know this is the pathway to a better future.”

Related: A First Nations Voice — What Does That Even Mean?

Related: A First Nations Voice to Parliament — 80% of Us Want It

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.