Inclusion Australia staff member, Brooke Canham tells us why the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important in understanding The Voice Referendum.
What is this article about?
This article is about the human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia. This community is also called First Nations People.
In this article, we talk about a document called the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
We also talk about the Voice Referendum. This referendum is very important because it is about hearing First Nations people’s voices. We need to vote to make this happen.
What is the Uluru Statement?
Many First Nations people from around Australia met in Uluru in 2017 and made a plan. They called it the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
This is a document that talks about how things should change for First Nations people to claim their human rights and to be treated fairly in the Australian culture. They wanted to get their voice heard and to be treated respectfully.
They worked together to create a plan to make sure First Nations people have a voice and can make decisions about their lives and their communities.
There is now an Easy Read summary of the Uluru Statement.
It was created by First Peoples Disability Network Australia (FPDN) with help from Inclusion Australia, the Council for Intellectual Disability (CID) and VALID. It is new. There has not been an Easy Read version before.
You can read the Easy Read summary here: Uluru Statement from the Heart Easy Read Guide
What does the Uluru Statement talk about?
The Uluru Statement talks about how hard things can be for First Nations People in Australia. This can be things like the way people look at them and how they are treated, and how many Aboriginal people go to jail because of some of the rules that are unfair for people who are Aboriginal. Lots of First Nations families also have their children taken away from them.
The Uluru Statement says that spiritual connection is important to First Nations people. It talks about their connection to their land, nature, and culture.
It talks about First Nations people’s ideas on how they would like to change things and make things better and be treated fairly.
One of the things it talks about is a Voice to Parliament. This is a way that First Nations people would be able to give their feedback to the Australian Government.
Why is it important to read the Uluru Statement?
It helps all Australians to understand what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are asking for and to respect and claim their human rights.
The Voice Referendum
There is a referendum coming up in Australia. It will be held on 14th of October 2023. It is compulsory for adults to vote in Australia. This means you have to vote. Voting is important because it is a way to get your voice heard. Being able to vote is a human right.
Also, we probably won’t have another referendum again for a long time, so it is important to be included and have your vote as it is our decision together.
The referendum is about whether we want to create a Voice to Parliament for First Nations people. It would mean changing the constitution, which is the rulebook for how governments in Australia work. This was something that First Nations people asked for in the Uluru Statement.
Having the laws and rules changed will allow people to speak up a bit more and be involved and help Australia to run better for the future to come.
A Voice to Parliament will help First Nations people to be heard on what they want to make a better future and a better Australia, and to understand what we need to make a happy life for people so we can work together and make a happier place.
Through the Uluru Statement, First Nations people have asked us to vote ‘yes’ in the referendum. If you vote ‘yes’ that means you agree there should be a Voice to Parliament.
Inclusion Australia believes there should be a Voice to Parliament. We will be voting YES.
For more information on The Voice to Parliament you can also watch this video of our interview with FPDN CEO Damian Griffis.