Indigenous Voice

 Proposals for the Voice/s – NSWALC Principles

The Commonwealth Government has released draft proposals for a National Voice and Regional Voices.

The proposals are significant. Have your say by 31 March 2021 or by attending a consultation.

NSWALC Principles

NSWALC supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart which includes calls for:

  • A constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament;
  • Makarrata (agreement making / Treaty/ies);
  • Truth-telling.

The current draft Voice proposals have positive aspects, but further work is needed to meet the Uluru Statement from the Heart and guarantee the rights and interests we have secured to date.

It will be important that any Voice proposals:

  • Include Constitutional protections;
  • Enshrine shared decision-making, genuine partnership, self-determination, and free, prior, informed consent;
  • Are inclusive, accountable and responsive to the needs and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Islander Peoples;
  • Genuinely advance Aboriginal people’s rights and interests and include clear safeguards that existing rights of Aboriginal peoples will be protected;
  • Protect gains made by Aboriginal peoples including with regard to shared decision-making, for example in relation to Closing the Gap;
  • Guarantee that the Voice will not undermine existing positive government commitments, including in relation to NSW Aboriginal Land Rights;
  • Ensure our self-determining Aboriginal community-controlled structures and initiatives will be protected and strengthened, including Aboriginal Land Councils;
  • Are agreed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and our representative structures;
  • Are independently financially secure.

Initial suggestions for further discussion

In partnership with us, our Aboriginal community-controlled partners, and Aboriginal communities, we suggest that:

  • Voice arrangements and structures are further considered to ensure they genuinely complement and advance existing Aboriginal community-controlled bodies, including Aboriginal Land Councils;
  • Proposed advisory functions and scope of these functions are further considered. Advisory functions are significantly less than the necessary shared decision-making arrangements;
  • Further transparent work is undertaken to clarify and ensure that the roles of existing bodies, including Aboriginal community controlled organisations and Aboriginal Land Councils, are strengthened.


Have Your Say

Read about the proposals for the Local and Regional Voice and National Voice as well as the interim report and fact sheets by clicking here.

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