09/29/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/28/2023 08:14
If you're younger that 42 years old, that means this will be your first referendum on 14 October.
So we're gathered the 9 most commonly asked questions and got answers straight from the experts.
Referendums are how we change the Constitution of Australia. This year's question is about constitutional recognition through a Voice to Parliament.
Co-chair of the "Yes" campaign and Arrernte and Kalkadoon woman, Rachel Perkins explains what that would look like. "The Voice is just advice. That's all it is," said Rachel.
According to many studies, such as those by Reconciliation Australia, around 80% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people believe the Voice to Parliament is important.
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Aunty Donna Ingram is an Elder of the Redfern Aboriginal community. She talks about how the very framework of the Voice will impact her community.
Dr Shireen Morris is an expert in constitutional reform and Indigenous constitutional recognition.
She points out that Australians are already divided by race in the constitution. "This is about uniting the country," said Shireen.
That's not quite how our democracy works. "Every MP in Parliament has to represent every Australian in their electorate and their political party," said Shireen.
Thomas Mayo is a Kaurareg Aboriginal and Kalkalgal, Erubamle Torres Strait Islander man. He's been a huge advocate of the Voice since signing the Uluru Statement from the Heart back in 2017.
He debunks how having an advisory body means anyone else loosing rights.
A common complaint is that there isn't enough detail about the Voice to Parliament.
Professor Anne Twomey explains why more detial would be a terrible idea. Anne is a lawyer specialising in Australian constitutional law and has worked everywhere from the High Court of Australia to the various government departments and legal firms.
There's actually been 5 Indigenous advisory bodies in the last 50 years. Anne explains why having the Voice to Parliament is a great idea for respect and stability.
We're drawing closer and closer to the 14 October deadline. If you'd like to get involved, head to yes23.com.au to volunteer.
Authorised by Clover Moore in Sydney on behalf of Sydney City Council