Voice, Treaty, Truth – Climate Council statement of support

13.09.23 By

History is calling. This year Australians will vote on whether to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution through a Voice to Parliament. This is a moment to come together, listen, and to take a vital step forward as a nation.

Our continent is home to the oldest living cultures on Earth. First Nations communities are proud, strong and resilient. They flourished sustainably on this land for thousands of generations prior to colonisation. Yet today, First Nations peoples are absent from our Constitution, and do not have an adequate voice over matters that affect their lives.

First Nations peoples know and understand the best way to deliver genuine and practical outcomes for their communities. By writing Yes at the referendum, we can help ensure that First Nations peoples are better able to close the gap that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians when it comes to health, life expectancy, education and employment. This is a chance to build support for solutions that First Nations people have long been campaigning for.

Australia has been considering constitutional recognition for many years. Through the Uluru Statement from the Heart – the largest consensus of First Nations peoples on a proposal for substantive recognition – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have asked that this recognition comes through a Voice to Parliament, which will give advice on laws and policies that affect their communities. The road to the Uluru Statement from the Heart was a long one, even without mentioning the decades of activism from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that came before it.

As a large organisation with many supporters across Australia, the Climate Council is taking its responsibility in this matter seriously. We will be using our platforms to share stories of First Nations strength, leadership and vision for the future – in their own words. We will be working to ensure our community is well informed about the referendum and its implications. This is a chance for all of us to learn about and honour the rights, history and strengths of First Nations peoples. 

See the Emergency Leaders for Climate Action’s statement of support here

The Climate Council recognises and respects that there is a diversity of opinions on the referendum among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – just as there are within any large and diverse community. This must be respected. We consider a Yes vote but one step on a much larger journey we must take together. 

The Climate Council supports the full implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. We are proud to have joined Allies for Uluru – a Coalition of more than 200 community, non-government and corporate organisations from across the country that have come together in support of Voice, Treaty, Truth. We are committed to thinking through how our organisation can better support the rights, strengths and leadership of First Nations people both now, and into the future.

To learn more about the referendum and find resources to help grow support for Yes visit Allies for Uluru.

learn more about Indigenous-led organisations that are working to protect Country, secure a safe climate and build a better, brighter future for us all here.