The Australian Government is committed to implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which includes a call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Australian Constitution.
The Australian Constitution is the set of rules by which Australia is run. It came into effect on 1 January 1901.
The Constitution can only be changed with the approval of the Australian people.
To meet this commitment, a referendum will
be held in this term of Federal Parliament to enshrine an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in the Australian Constitution.
What is a referendum?
A referendum is a vote of the Australian people to change the Australian Constitution.
A proposed change must be approved by the Federal Parliament and then be voted on by Australians in a referendum.
What is the Voice proposal?
On 30 July 2022, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced draft words for a constitutional amendment on an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, and proposed a draft question to be put to the Australian people at a referendum.
The draft words to be added to the Constitution are:
‘There shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to Parliament and the Executive Government on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws with respect to the composition, functions, powers and procedures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.’
The draft referendum question is:
These words will form the basis for further consultation. See: https://voice.niaa.gov.au/#