Liberty Victoria proudly supports a Yes vote in the historic referendum that will take place later this year.
Currently, Australia’s constitution does not recognise the First Peoples of Australia. By voting Yes, Australians have an opportunity to ensure that First Peoples are appropriately recognised in our constitution in a meaningful way: by establishing a Voice to Parliament.
A Yes vote will ensure that First Peoples will have a say on the policies and laws that affect them and their communities. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people hold more than 65,000 years’ worth of expertise, knowledge and wisdom. First Peoples are leaders in policy, law reform and building strong communities. We know that when First Peoples have a say on the things that affect them, it results in better policies and better outcomes.
Importantly, a Yes vote is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create unity. It is a chance for Australians to formally recognise and express pride in the more than 65,000 years of continuous connection to this land by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. And a chance to build on the decades of historic work that culminated in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
In our view, the proposal that we will vote on later this year is legally and constitutionally sound. It has the backing of many of Australia’s most trusted legal experts.
Ensuring that First Peoples have a pathway to speak directly to the government about issues that affect them is consistent with international human rights law, which enshrines the right to self-determination and freedom from discrimination.
Liberty Victoria proudly and wholeheartedly joins the chorus of civil society organisations calling for a resounding “Yes” vote in the referendum.
1 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Articles 2 and 3.