We stand alongside First Nations peoples and support the Voice to Parliament

31 May 2023
A yellow circle with a 'Yes' written in red at its centre, on a purple background. The image symbolises support for the Voice to Parliament referendum.

Sacred Heart Mission respects the views, rights and self-determination of all First Nations Peoples and recognise the diversity of perspectives as relating to matters which impact on both them and their communities.

In 2017, 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates drafted and unanimously endorsed the Uluru Statement from the Heart. This statement calls for meaningful and lasting structural reform, incorporating two essential changes: Voice and Makarrata.

The former is for a First Nations Voice to Parliament to be enshrined in the Constitution, while Makarrata is another word for Treaty or agreement-making, and a Makarrata Commission would supervise this process as well as ensuring truth-telling about First Nations history.

Sacred Heart Mission strongly support the Uluru Statement from the Heart and its key themes of Voice, Treaty and Truth-telling.

Later this year, the Australian people will be called on to make a yes or no vote in a referendum which seeks to enshrine in the Australian Constitution the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament. This Voice is seen as a path to better justice and self-determination for First Nations Peoples, allowing consultation with, and input from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives, on all policies, laws and issues concerning or impacting on their communities and their people.

We acknowledge and respect that there are differing points of view and approaches to implementing the requests of the Uluru Statement, and that some parts of the First Nations community do not align themselves with the Statement.

Sacred Heart Mission does support a Voice to Parliament and the need for systemic change that leads to better outcomes in health, housing, education, and criminal justice for First Nations peoples.

The purpose of Sacred Heart Mission’s work is to build people’s capacity to participate more fully in community life, by addressing the underlying causes of deep, persistent disadvantage and social exclusion, and the Voice to Parliament aims to do the same, by offering a path to justice, equity and self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We will therefore, be taking a ‘yes’ position with the referendum and hope that it truly leads towards Makarrata.

In the lead-up to the vote, we will endeavour to support our staff, volunteers and clients to understand how to participate in the referendum and to make an informed choice on how they vote.

Allies for Uluru Coalition

We are proud to announce that we joined the Allies For Uluru Coalition.

As one of 200+ member organisations and corporations we support the Uluru Statement from the Heart starting with the establishment of a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution.