Why we support a First Nations Voice in the Australian Constitution

The City of Sydney has supported the long campaign for the Australian constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In 2018 Council resolved to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart on the advice of the City of Sydney’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory panel, and more recently Council resolved to support the yes vote for a Voice to Parliament.

Australia is a diverse nation with a rich cultural heritage that dates back 65,000 years. The First Peoples of Australia have deep and enduring connections to this land.

However, our 122-year-old constitution still does not recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart proposes that a Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Australian Constitution is a meaningful way to make this recognition a reality.

The Voice would provide advice to parliament and federal government, giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples more of a say in matters that affect their lives and communities.

The City of Sydney has had an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel providing advice to Council since 2008.

In March, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced wording to enshrine an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament in the constitution.

To change the Constitution, there needs to be a referendum, which will ask the Australian people a simple question:

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?

This is a significant moment in our history.

The City of Sydney encourages the community to learn more about this important issue.

How you can get involved

More events will be held later in the year, including during National Reconciliation Week in May. Keep an eye on What’s On for more.

Support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart

The City of Sydney has long supported constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

In 2018 Council resolved to:

  • recognise the unique status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as custodians who have nurtured this land for tens of thousands of years and have an immutable connection to Country
  • support the recommendations of the Uluru Statement from the Heart to empower the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Nations peoples
  • support the recommendations of the Referendum Council's final report for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander First Nations voice to the Commonwealth Parliament that is enshrined in the Constitution
  • support the establishment of a Makarrata Commission to oversee agreement making between governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and truth-telling about our shared history.

The City of Sydney is also a major sponsor of the Sydney Peace Prize which was awarded to Megan Davis, Pat Anderson and Noel Pearson in 2021/22 as representatives of the National Convention and Uluru Statement from the Heart.

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