BCYF & Bethany have merged! Our two like-minded not-for-profit organisations are now Meli. Learn more

Meli’s response to the Voice referendum

Meli would like to recognise the disappointment and sadness that many people within our community will be feeling as a result of referendum held on Saturday, especially members of First Nations communities.

We respect the various views around the proposed changes to the Constitution, and we respect the principles of democracy and the function of referendums in our political system. However, we too are disappointed in the referendum outcome.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart was an invitation to the Australian people to create a better future via the proposal of key reforms, including enshrining a First Nations Voice in the Australian Constitution.

Meli gratefully accepted that invitation, and regardless of the referendum result, Meli reaffirms our commitment to reconciliation, justice, and equality; to voice, treaty, and truth.

Our commitment to truth-telling and self-determination continues, and with an initial focus on truth, listening, and strengthening our relationships, we will walk beside and take our lead from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community where Meli services are present.

We will invest in building relationships grounded in truth and listening, offering our ongoing support. Our aim is to ensure that the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are amplified in the communities that we live and work, especially in relation to matters that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.


Meli proudly 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.


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