Friends, 2023 is a significant year, as in October, Australians will be called upon to vote in a referendum where we will be asked if we support an Indigenous Voice to Parliament being enshrined in our Constitution. A Voice to Parliament will give Indigenous communities a way to help inform policy and legal decisions that impact their lives. Giving people a say will lead to better long-term results. Embedding a Voice in the Constitution would recognise the special place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia’s history. It will also mean that the Voice to Parliament will remain in place even when Governments change. While further debate and details are being worked out, we MSS celebrate that all of our work and our homes are on the sacred land and waterways of the many cultural groups of the First Nations peoples of Australia.
The MSS stand with all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in their call for a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Australian Constitution. And we accept the invitation in the Uluru Statement from the Heart to walk together with First Nations people in a spirit which encompasses voice, treaty and truth-telling to ensure a better future for all.
The success of any referendum requires a majority of voters across the nation and a majority of voters in a majority of states—this is known as a double majority. We encourage everyone to ask questions, to read, to listen, and be informed. We have a valuable opportunity to make meaningful reparation for the past, and to build a better future for all.
We pray that in finding common ground and setting aside political differences, we may seize this opportunity to listen and learn, to positively bring into being a time where all in Australia may have life to the full. We recommend visiting the following website as a starting point: www.togetheryes.com.au