Voice – Treaty - Truth

Reconciliation NSW supports a Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution and is working with community leaders, organisations and individuals to make it a reality, after nearly 3 decades of work to get to this point. We need your help.

“A First Nations Voice, protected by the Constitution, will mean that agreement-making and truth-telling can finally be done on equal terms. With Voice, we can begin the journey of coming together after a struggle.” – Makarrata.

What’s happening now

The Bill to hold a referendum has passed through the House and the Senate and the question to be put to the Australian people at the 2023 referendum will be:

“A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.  Do you approve this proposed alteration?”

Constitutional amendment

The proposed law that Australians are being asked to approve at the referendum would insert a new section into the Constitution:

“Chapter IX Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
129 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice

In recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia:

1.There shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice;

2.The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to the Parliament and the Executive Government of the Commonwealth on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;

3.The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws with respect to matters relating to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, including its composition, functions, powers and procedures.”

The Voice design principles

The Prime Minister also released the principles of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. You can read the detailed design principles here.

In summary, these principles are:

– The Voice will give independent advice to the Parliament and Government

– The Voice will be chosen by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people based on the wishes of local communities

– The Voice will be representative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, gender balanced and include youth

– The Voice will be empowering, community-led, inclusive, respectful and culturally informed

– The Voice will be accountable and transparent

– The Voice will work alongside existing organisations and traditional structures

– The Voice will not have a program delivery function

– The Voice will not have a veto power.

These principles were developed by the First Nations Referendum Working Group and endorsed by the Australian Government.

What needs to happen for a successful Referendum?

Any change to the Constitution must be put forward to the Australian people of voting age. To successfully enshrine an Indigenous Voice in the Constitution, two things must happen:

  1. A majority of voters in Australia must vote ‘yes’
  2. A majority of votes in at least 4 out of 6 states must vote ‘yes’.


For more detail

The 2021 Final Report to the Australian Government on the Indigenous Voice Co-design Process  is a result of extensive consultation with First Nations peoples and communities in urban, regional and remote Australia.  The proposed Indigenous Voice detailed is an integrated system of 35 Local and Regional Voices, and an overarching National Voice.  Local & Regional Voices would be community-led, community-designed and community-run to set strategic directions to improve policy, program and service delivery outcomes that affect them. This ensures that local communities have input to decisions that affect them. The National Voice will comprise 24 members who will be selected by Local & Regional Voices.  The Voice would advise on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples social, spiritual and economic wellbeing to ensure their perspectives are considered throughout policy and legislation development. Representatives will include specific representation for Torres Strait Islanders and remote communities due to their unique needs.


Reconciliation NSW Voice Treaty Truth Toolkit

This toolkit contains detailed factsheets to host your own event, learn about the Uluru Statement, and have conversations to spread the word about a Voice to Parliament.


Uluru Statement from the Heart Toolkit

  1. 1.1. Welcome, 1.2. The Uluru Statement from the Heart, 1.3. Call to Action – What can I do? 
  2. Factsheets: 2.1. Voice, 2.2. Treaty, 2.3.Truth, 2.4. Makaratta, 2.5. Engaging with the Statement: FAQS and Discussion Prompts
  3. Host an Event: 3.1. Host an Event: Why, What, Who, Where When and How, 3.2. Event Checklist Summary, 3.3. Event checklist template, 3.4. Welcome to Country guide, 3.5. Ideas for speakers and panellists to host your event, 3.6. Templates: invitation, sign-in sheet, & Media Release, 3.7. Social media kit
  4. Advocacy and dinner table conversations: 4.1. Conversation guide & script, 4.2. Strategic Advocacy Framework, 4.4. Conversation Tips, 4.5. Key information for campaigning, 4.6. Debunking myths and addressing misinformation
  5. Resources: 5.1. Training & Videos, 5.2. Reading List, 5.3. Printable resources, 5.4. Templates: MP letters, posters
  6. Other: How to be a Good Ally, Support the Uluru Statement in your Workplace, Uluru Statement from the Heart artwork meaning

Actions you can take now

See our full  list of videos, films and explainers

Referendum council member Megan Davis presents the National Indigenous Constitution Convention’s statement at the closing ceremony in Mutitjulu, Northern Territory. This is a simple video to use to understand the core essence of the Uluru Statement, and to share with others.

*Reconciliation NSW thanks the Yes Alliance Capacity Fund, a sub fund of Australian Communities Foundation for their support for printing and mailing of information materials, social media communications, and volunteers to educate the public about the Referendum in 2023.


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