Meli Supports First Nations Voice to Parliament
“In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.” – Uluru Statement From The Heart
Meli acknowledges that we work and connect on the traditional and unceded lands of the Wadawurrung People, Eastern Maar People, Gunditjmara People, and the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagulk Peoples of the Wotjobaluk Nations and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. We are committed to the reconciliation journey through our actions and openness to learn.
In 2017, more than 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates gathered in Mutitjulu in the shadow of Uluru and put their signatures on an historic statement. The Uluru Statement from the Heart was addressed to the Australian people and invited the nation to create a better future via the proposal of key reforms.
One of the key reforms in the Uluru Statement from the Heart proposed is enshrining a First Nations Voice in the Australian Constitution. Meli supports the proposed amendments to the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
Meli notes and echoes the view of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative Board, after consulting widely in community, that “the voice to parliament will give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities a say in the laws and policies that affect us in our daily lives”.
We believe it is time for change and a strong First Nations Voice shaping national policy is a positive step forward for our country. We believe that enshrining a constitutional First Nations Voice to Australia’s Parliament will build a foundation to truth telling and a right for First Nations people to determine their own future, having a meaningful say on decisions that affect them and their communities.
Meli humbly accepts the invitation to walk with First Nations Australians “in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.”
We acknowledge there is more to be done, but we support a “Yes” vote as another step in a long journey for First Nations people to be acknowledged, counted and heard. We do so while respecting the various views around the referendum, in particular the views of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Meli commits to continued truth-telling, and ‘makarrata’, the coming together after a struggle. Meli shares the “aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship” with First Nations Australians and a better future based on justice and self-determination.