YACWA Voice to Parliament Statement

On behalf of the Board and team, YACWA has wholeheartedly agreed to support a yes vote in the Voice to Parliament referendum. This would alter the Constitution to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia with parliamentary recognition and a permanent and tangible voice in the decisions that affect them.

The Voice to Parliament is intended to be representative of all First Nations peoples from across Australia, be gender balanced and involve young people. As the peak body for the youth sector and young people in Western Australia, we strongly support the development of the Voice in order to empower Aboriginal young people to have a seat at the table in decision making, amplifying their voice and experiences in a way that has never occurred before.

The Voice to Parliament is one of the key components of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, drafted in 2017 by around 250 First Nations leaders from around the country, and calls for Voice, Treaty and Truth. The Voice is a core part of empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to inform the decisions that affect them as well as recognise their importance and status in Australia’s culture, history and connection to country.

In supporting the Uluru Statement from the Heart, YACWA echos their beliefs that a Voice to Parliament is an important mechanism to ensure discussions around Treaty and Truth-telling are culturally-based and highlight the voices and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People at their core.

Whilst we acknowledge that there are different views on the Voice to Parliament, we remain committed to our support for the Uluru Statement and believe that this vote is a significant opportunity to move forward and walk together towards reconciliation. Therefore, YACWA is committed to supporting the process to establish a Voice to Parliament and will continue to share and amplify the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people moving forward.