At the Australian Inclusion Group, we believe in acknowledging and celebrating our differences. We believe in coming together; to create spaces where all people feel a sense of belonging. We believe in welcoming.
For non-Aboriginal Australians, we recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have long been welcoming us to walk alongside one another.
Yet this journey in walking together hasn’t been an easy one. Today, we continue to see the intergenerational impact and hurt that both our past and current policies and decisions have made on First Nations communities across the country in outcomes in health, education, wellbeing, and economic measures.
Later this year, together as Australians, we will be invited to answer a question, whether we wish to alter the Constitution to recognise the First People of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice.
At the Australian Inclusion Group, we understand the weight of this question. We also recognise that the discussion around the Voice to Parliament is an incredibly dynamic one, with inherent differences in thought across communities and indeed within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities themselves.
But we also know that when it comes to Closing the Gap, our past actions haven’t worked. It’s time to look at things differently, and to do this, we strongly believe we need to listen deeply to the voices of our First Nations peoples; to be guided by them on the issues and opportunities that face their communities.
In 2017, The Uluru Statement of the Heart called us to act, to seek constitutional recognition and to enshrine a voice. The Statement invited us to walk in a movement for a better future for all.
And in 2023, for the Australian Inclusion Group, this starts with supporting the “yes” campaign for the Voice to Parliament.