Yes! ERA’s Statement on the Indigenous Voice Referendum
I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own. ― Audre Lorde
ERA exists to promote gender equality and the realisation of the human rights of women, girls and people marginalised by gender.
ERA acknowledges that for tens of thousands of years First Nations People have cared for culture, knowledge and land and that sovereignty has never been ceded.
Our current systems and culture have evolved from a colonial history, resulting in systemic and cultural racism. The human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are being violated. Something must change.
ERA supports the full realisation of the Voice, Truth and Treaty pathway in the Uluru Statement from the Heart and supports the referendum for a Voice to Parliament. We support the Voice to Parliament as an essential first step towards a fairer and more equitable Australia. We see the Voice as a critical step towards the ultimate goal, which is a binding and equitable Treaty.
ERA hears and respects the diversity of views within the movement for First Nations justice. We stand in solidarity with all First Nations people seeking a path towards justice, healing and self-determination. We acknowledge that both the emotional load and the substantive work being done in this process is falling on the shoulders of First Nations people. ERA commits to taking our share of this work.
We acknowledge the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to have effective involvement in decision making which directly impacts their lives. ERA knows that systemic violations of human rights require new solutions and structural change; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people know what works for their communities. The Voice will help us all to hear and support these solutions.
A vote that is about the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people must be informed by their leadership, and we encourage everyone to listen deeply to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives on this matter. We all have a responsibility to understand the journey to this referendum, to have strong conversations about it.
Here are some resources which might help:
The official website of the Uluru Statement from the Heart: https://ulurustatement.org/
What is Treaty and what could it mean for our people? – NITV: https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/explainer-what-is-a-treaty/p2h2mr5ym
NITV’s Voice Referendum resource page: https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/topic/voice-referendum
The Uluru Youth Dialogue Declaration: https://ulurustatement.org/uluru-youth-dialogue-declaration/
Information about the Voice in 45 languages, produced by Life Without Barriers: https://www.lwb.org.au/social-policy/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-peoples/social-justice/voice-to-parliament
The Voice: what is it, where did it come from, and what can it achieve? The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/the-voice-what-is-it-where-did-it-come-from-and-what-can-it-achieve-202138
Information from the Electoral Commission about the referendum and how to vote can be found here: https://www.aec.gov.au/referendums/