Statement on the Voice to Parliament

Australians will soon be asked to cast a Yes or No vote through a referendum on the First Nations Voice to Parliament (the Voice). The National Trust of Victoria would like to provide factual and relevant information to encourage our stakeholders to make an informed decision. 

A Voice to Parliament would provide representation and recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution. The Voice was proposed in the Uluru Statement from the Heart (2017), to enable Indigenous communities to help inform policy and legal decisions that impact their lives. 

The Australian Electoral Commission is required to distribute a pamphlet to Australian voters, containing the Yes and No cases prepared by parliamentarians who voted for and against the proposed law. The Australian Electoral Commission does not have legislative authority to edit, amend or fact check this pamphlet.  

We encourage all our stakeholders to research and read accurate information which you can find in the below links, and always fact check your information sources.   

The National Trust in Victoria is strongly committed to the journey of reconciliation, and we still have a long way to go. Supported by the National Trust in Victoria’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee to the Board we continue to deliver our Fourth Reconciliation Action Plan 2022-2024 (RAP). As part of our RAP deliverables, we are committed to educating our stakeholders about the First Nations Voice to Parliament and reflecting on our governance as it relates to including and listening to the voices of First Nations stakeholders. 

As an organisation, we will continue to strive towards reconciliation, to listen, and to support the rights of Traditional Owners. In Victoria, the National Trust acknowledges that there has been a failure until relatively recently to adequately recognise and protect Aboriginal cultural heritage through legislation, and we support the rights of Aboriginal people to make decisions about Aboriginal cultural heritage. At the core of the National Trust’s role, we are a community heritage organisation, and seek to remain a-political in questions beyond our remit.