Good Things Foundation supports the Voice to Parliament
Good Things Foundation supports constitutional recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
Good Things Foundation is proud to express our support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recognition in the constitution and a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament.
We believe that a Voice to Parliament is essential to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices are heard and action taken to address the inequality that exists across all areas of society.
Please join us on 30 August for an online discussion about the Voice to Parliament, hosted by our CEO Jess Wilson, in conversation with Jaki Adams, Director of Social Justice and Regional Engagement at The Fred Hollows Foundation.
As an organisation committed to helping people improve their lives through digital, we tackle the most pressing social issues of our time, working with partners in thousands of communities across Australia to close the digital divide.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are among the most digitally excluded people in our society due to a lack of affordable access to technology and the digital skills needed to fully participate in our digital world. This inequity is recognised in Target 17 of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, calling for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to have equal levels of digital inclusion by 2026.
If we are to fix the digital divide for all, we must ensure the voices, rights and perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experiencing digital exclusion are heard.
A Voice to Parliament will create a pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to speak directly to the parliament about the decisions that affect their lives.
Good Things Foundation accepts the invitation outlined in the Uluru Statement from the Heart and supports the call for a First Nations Voice to be enshrined in the Australian Constitution.
We believe the Voice to Parliament is a crucial step to bring the change we need to ensure a just and inclusive Australia, now and forever.
Combatting misinformation during the Voice campaign
Good Things Foundation plays an important role in educating and supporting people across Australia to gain essential digital skills to identify and access trusted sources of information online.
We join calls from the Australian Government and the eSafety Commissioner to stamp out misinformation, hate speech and racist abuse circulated during the Voice campaign.
We all have a role to play in respecting the right of all Australians who vote in the referendum to vote as they see fit.
Get the latest Australian Government updates about the referendum.
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has established a Referendum Disinformation Register to debunk mistruths spread about Referendum processes. The disinformation register focuses solely on harmful disinformation relating to the process of conducting referendums.
Good Things Foundation encourages our partners and supporters to visit the AEC’s website to learn about the tactics used to spread electoral disinformation.
We recommend that anyone seeking a trusted source of information about referendum processes follows the AEC on social media or visits the referendum landing page on the AEC website.
FAQs for the Referendum
Upon the election of the Federal Labor Government in May 2022, incoming Prime Minister Albanese indicated that the full implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart was a key priority in the Government’s agenda.
The Prime Minister indicated that the Government would proceed with a referendum for Australians to decide whether to change the Australian Constitution to enshrine a First Nations Voice to Parliament.
A constitutionally enshrined First Nations Voice to Parliament is a key element of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Released in 2017, the Uluru Statement from the Heart is the largest consensus of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on a proposal for substantive recognition in Australian history. It calls for Voice, Treaty and Truth:
- Voice: Enshrining a First Nations Voice in the Australian Constitution
- Makarrata: The coming together after a struggle to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (treaty) and truth-telling about our history (truth).
Constitutional recognition through a Voice to Parliament envisages a body enshrined in the Constitution that would enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to provide advice to Federal Parliament on policies and legal decisions that impact their lives. The Voice would be an independent, representative advisory body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Hon Linda Burney MP, Minister for Indigenous Australians, has been charged with implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart, including responsibility for the referendum to establish a First Nations Voice to Parliament. Minister Burney, a member of the Wiradjuri Nation, is assisted by Labor Senator and Yawuru man Pat Dodson who has been named Special Envoy for Implementation of the Uluru Statement for the Heart.
On 23 March 2023, the Prime Minister announced the constitutional amendment and referendum question that were agreed to by the Referendum Working Group and the Government. The constitutional amendment and referendum question reflect the advice of the First Nations Referendum Working Group.
The Prime Minister also released the principles of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
These principles were developed and agreed by the First Nations Referendum Working Group.
After the referendum, and if it is passed, there will be a process with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, the Parliament, and the broader public to settle the Voice design. Legislation to establish the Voice will then go through standard parliamentary processes involving both houses of Parliament.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a powerful national consensus of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on a proposal for substantive recognition in Australia’s
history. The convention was held on the land of the Anangu people at Uluru in 2017.
The statement was addressed to all the people of Australia, encouraging us to come together and call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice to be codified and enshrined in the Australian Constitution.
Uluru Statement from the Heart have put together an educational FAQ here about the referendum.
Good Things Foundation supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart. We believe this represents a powerful and unique opportunity for all Australians to come together to support a better future.
In 2023 Australians will be completing a referendum about including an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament in the Australian Constitution.
The proposed referendum question that will be asked is:
“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?”
To approve this change, Australian voters write the answer ‘Yes’ to the question when voting in the referendum.
The primary source of law in Australia is the Constitution, and it does not yet recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first people of our country.
According to Reconciliation Australia, a Voice to Parliament will give First Nations communities a route to help inform policy and legal decisions that impact their lives. Giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples a say will lead to more effective results.
Embedding a Voice in the Constitution would recognise the special place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia’s history, but importantly would also mean that it can’t be shut down by successive Governments.
That is why in 2017, The Uluru Statement from the Heart was signed by over 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates encouraging all Australians to come together to create a better future and establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to be codified and enshrined in the Australian Constitution.
The referendum seeks to achieve this, and if successful, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples would be recognised in the Constitution, and they will have a voice in decisions that impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
As Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said in his speech at Garma, “When a government listens to people with experience, with earned knowledge of kinship and Country and culture and community…then the policies and programs are always more effective.”
This is a powerful and unique opportunity for all Australians to come together to support a better future for the nation.
In Australia, when there is a proposed change to the Constitution, there must be a referendum to approve the change. A referendum is when the Australian people vote to decide whether the change will be made. The constitution is considered the foundation of all law in Australia and explains how Australia is governed.
When a change is proposed, and before a referendum can be held, a bill explaining the proposed changes to the Constitution must be passed by Parliament.
Once the bill has been passed by both houses of the Federal Parliament or passed twice in either the House of Representatives or the Senate, the referendum must be held no sooner than two months or no later than six months.
Voting in a referendum is compulsory and will be scheduled on a Saturday, like an election. Information booklets are provided to voters by the Australian Electoral Commission to ensure all voters are well-informed on the proposed changes. The booklets will include the proposed changes and cases for ‘yes’ and ‘no’ provided by Parliament.
On the day, you will receive a ballot paper listing the proposed changes to the Constitution at a polling place. You will indicate your vote, either ‘yes’ or ‘no’, next to each proposed change.
If a majority of voters across Australia and a majority of voters in a majority of states vote yes, the referendum is passed, and a change is made to the Constitution.
Have conversations within your community about the Voice.
Together, Yes have developed a conversation kit to help you have a conversation about the Voice with your friends, family or colleagues.
Attend a Voice event and start a yarn.
The Uluru Dialogue Start a Yarn initiative supports people to join in active listening and reflection on the Uluru Statement and Voice to Parliament. Find out more here.
Learn more about the Voice to Parliament
We encourage you to learn more about the Voice to Parliament by visiting: