ILPS (International League of Peoples’ Struggle) Australia Chapter is fully supporting a change to the Australian Constitution to include an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament, in the Constitutional Referendum later this year.
The Voice will be an independent, representative advisory body for First Nations people and provide a permanent means to advise the Australian Parliament and Government on the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on matters that affect them.
We fully support the principles that describe how the Voice will work that were agreed to by the First Nations Referendum Group, which are:
(1) provide independent advice to Parliament and Government be chosen by First Nations people based on the wishes of local communities
(2) be representative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities be empowering, community led, inclusive, respectful, culturally informed and gender balanced, and
(3) include youth be accountable and transparent work alongside existing organizations and traditional structures.
The high levels of incarceration, alienation of First Nations children from their families at unprecedented rates, and disgraceful health outcomes and social disadvantage are results of policies delivered for and not by Australia’s First Nations Peoples.
ILPS Australia supports the full implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, including a first Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution and Makarrata (or ‘coming together after a struggle’) through agreement-making (Treaty) and truth-telling about history.
We support the vision of these three elements co-existing to ‘empower (First Nations) people’ to take their ‘rightful place in our own country’. We fully support a Voice that will not be able to be silenced at the whim of any government. We join in ‘makarrata’ in agreement-making and truth-telling.
The Voice guarantees the First Nations are heard as ‘makarrata’ processes unfold over the years and Government policies are designed and implemented. This is why there can be no delay in enshrining the Voice in Australia’s constitution.
We will do all we can towards supporting the vision of First Nations Peoples – ‘a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia and a better future for our children based on justice and self-determination’. [Source: The Uluru Statement from the Heart].
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a gift from the oldest continuous culture on earth and we will campaign for its full and complete implementation.
Reference: ILPS Australia Chapter