The majority of Australians did not support the proposed Referendum of October 14th. This resources page will be edited, but remain on the VCC website. The imperative to listen to First Nations people on matters that impact them remains, irrespective of the outcome of the Referendum. 

Catholic Social Services Victoria (CSSV) is committed to ‘relentlessly pursue reconciliation’. Read the statement here

A statement by Canon Rev Glenn Loughrey. 

“It has been a costly and demanding time for First Nations people during the period of the referendum debate. Let us keep this in our hearts and prayers throughout these days. The need to find a reconciled unity in this country remains pressing”. (Archbishop Philip Freier)

Uniting Church President Rev Sharon Hollis has offered a prayer inspired by the language of the revised UCA preamble. Sharon’s prayer references the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (In 1985, the Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia unanimously welcomed and agreed to officially support the formation of the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC). In 2009, the 12th UCA Assembly changed the Uniting Church’s own Constitution to include a revised UCA Preamble)

God, ancient of days, we give you thanks for the ways
in which First Nations people have cared for Country since creation
and for their unbroken Sovereignty over their lands and waters.
We give you thanks for the ways in which they encountered you
through law, custom and ceremony and for their particular insights into your ways.
We give you thanks for the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress,
for the ways it nurtures Indigenous spirituality
and shares holistic ministry with First Nations People.
We pray for all First Nations People today,
acknowledging all they endure as a result of colonisation
and lamenting the racism and vitriol experienced across the Referendum campaign.
We pray for our nation, that following the Referendum we might seek unity
in reconciliation, justice and truth telling.
We pray for our Church, that we might grow into our Covenant more fully and continue walking together as First and Second Peoples.
In the name of Christ, our lodestar. Amen.


Statement from the Heart: Voice. Treaty. Truth.
Constitutional Sovereignty
Walking Together with First Nations People

One of the objectives of the Victorian Council of Churches is to encourage and enable the Member Churches in the light of the Gospel to be a prophetic voice to each other and the community “by acting in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People“.[VCC Constitution 5.1 (b) (iv)]

The referendum on October 14th gives all Australians the chance to come together and consider a change to our constitution to honour and celebrate the rights, history, and ongoing relationship First Peoples have with this land.

It is estimated that 25% of Australians have not made their minds up about how they will vote. In these last few days before the Referendum, you are encouraged to have conversations with people who are undecided. ‘Firm no’ people have exercised their democratic right to make their decision. Undecided people may value having more input. 

Conversation campaign in lead up to Referendum

The current way of making decisions FOR Indigenous Australians rather than WITh them hasn’t worked to close the health, education, and economic gaps between them and the rest of Australia. The Voice will focus on consulting Indigenous Australians on decision making that directly affects them. Particularly on health, housing, education and over policing. The request for a Voice was made in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, an assembly of over 250 Indigenous delegates brought together to discuss a way to build a stronger, more equitable Australia for Indigenous Australians. 
More than 80% of Indigenous Australians support the Voice. 
Recognising Indigenous Australians in the Constitution will connect us with our 65,000 years of cultural heritage.
The proposed amendment has been declared safe by former High Court judges including former Chief Justice Robert French. The Solicitor General has said it will enhance our system of government. 
What power does the Voice to Parliament have?
It is not a third chamber or an addition to the House of Representatives and Senate.
It cannot veto and does not have the capacity to say, ‘you can’t do that’.
It cannot make any laws or decisions that the Government is then obliged to implement.
It IS an advisory body that can advise Parliament and Government from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective.
It CAN only say to them, ‘here are our comments and our advice on this piece of legislation’ or ‘we think you need to think about this in a better way for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ or that ‘there’s an alternative way’.
Why does it need to be enshrined in the Constitution?
Enshrining The Voice into the Constitution allows our people to look further than the three-year electoral cycle. We can begin to plan on processes that resolve those kinds of issues discussed in the Closing the Gap program, over a long period of time.
There are no quick fixes, The Voice will not provide a quick fix, but it will provide us the opportunity to look down a long view and begin to get past the constant changes in Governments which stop us from successfully dealing with any of those major issues.
Worth checking the Referendum guide from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) with the Guardian analysis/fact checking of the ‘no’ statement, and the ‘yes’ statement

At the heart of the upcoming Voice to Parliament Referendum is the recognition of Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Peoples, the world’s oldest continuing culture, in the Australian Constitution. As Christians, we have a responsibility to listen to the voices of First Australians and to work towards a more just and equitable society. The Voice to Parliament Referendum provides us with a unique opportunity to come together as a community and draw upon our faith and moral grounding to make an informed decision. As a community let us keep the process in prayer.  
Dear Lord
We invite all Australians to join us, their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Brothers and Sisters in prayer.
We pray for a bright and just shared future for all who call Australia home.
We ask that Your grace of acceptance and compassion will guide us.
Let the Creator Spirit lead our journey with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples of this land.
May we share Your Spirit more deeply; celebrate the gifts You have given us.
Help us appreciate true harmony and peace just as our Old People did;
Keep us strong, make us resilient and remember us in this time.
Now is an opportunity to change our Nation’s history for the better.
Walk with us as we write a new chapter together and may we be one in Your love. Amen.  
[Source: The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC)]

Current News

About the Statement from the Heart

Support statements – church leaders, networks, agencies etc


Prayer resources

Acknowledgement of country

Host a Conversation


Resources (print and online)

Presentations (video, webinars, audio)

‘We say yes to the Voice’ (church leaders) – on Youtube
(an event hosted by St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne)

Catholic Social Justice Statement 2023-2024
(YouTube as well as online print)

Uniting Church resources on the Voice

What the voice means to me (UCA presentations)

Q&A with Noel Pearson (print and video)

UCA President Rev Sharon Hollis on the Voice 

The Lutheran Church of Australia and New Zealand has produced a guide for purposely participating in the 2023 Referendum on ‘the Voice to Parliament. Download here

A free online publication is available on TROVE of the 2022 webinar HISTORY, TRUTH TELLING, AND THE ULURU STATEMENT FROM THE HEART (Youtube presentation here)

Indigenous Voice to Parliament: A question of love and moral imagination an article by Max Jegathanon

Scars of rejection will run deep if the Indigenous voice to parliament referendum fails, says historian Henry Reynolds

The Statement from the Heart emerged from The First Nations National Constitutional Convention at Uluru in May 2017. It was the coming together of 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to articulate the nature of reforms desired by First Nations, and advise parliament on a pathway toward a successful referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution.

The Statement from the Heart called for two reforms:

  1. The establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Australian Constitution to empower First Peoples to have a greater say in policy and legislation which governs their affairs and, in so doing, improve their autonomy and prosperity.
  2. The establishment of a Makarrata Commission to;
    • Supervise a process of agreement-making, or treaty, between governments and First Nations, and
    • Provide a means for truth-telling about the history of Australia’s First Peoples.

Statement from the Heart website


Compilation of statements by Faith Leaders endorsing the Statement from the Heart and the Voice.

Salvation Army statement on the Voice to Parliament. 

VCC President Joe Leach Statement in support of the Voice

Migrant and faith groups pledge support for the YES campaign
Migrant and faith groups have come together in Victoria to pledge their support for the Yes campaign in the upcoming Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum. Video on SBS here

Pastor Doug Nicholls – and the Voice to Parliament
(published on Churches of Christ Vic/Tas website)

Rev Rex Rigby serves as the National Superintendent of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia and is the only Indigenous First Nations Head of a Church in the National Council of Churches of Australia. At the June meeting of the NCCA, Rev Rigby shared a pivotal message, ‘A vote in favour might see only a slight improvement in the situation for Indigenous Australians, but a vote against has the potential to be a step backwards and cause further struggles for Indigenous Australians.

Australia’s major faith based charities unite in support of Voice to Parliament.
In a co-signed open letter to Federal Parliament, The Salvation Army, Anglicare Australia, Baptist CareAustralia, Catholic Social Services Australia, St Vincent de Paul Society and UnitingCare Australia urge the implementation of a Voice to Parliament in our Constitution which will give Indigenous communities a means to inform policy and legal decisions that impact their lives.

Quakers (Religious Society of Friends) Statement in support of the Voice to Parliament.

NCCA (National Council of Churches in Australia) statement – Uluru Statement from the Heart and Voice to Parliament (June 2023)

The Ethnic Communities Foundation Victoria supports the Voice. ECCV Statement on First Nations Voice referendum – Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria

Joint Resolution of Multicultural Community Organisations in support of the First Nations Voice Referendum
In 2017, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples asked Australians to walk with them towards a better future. Through the Uluru Statement from the Heart, they asked for constitutional recognition through a constitutionally guaranteed voice in their own affairs. As leaders of diverse multicultural community organisations, we endorse the Uluru Statement and its call for a First Nations voice guaranteed by the Constitution. This reform is modest, practical and fair. We call on our political representatives to lead this referendum in the spirit of bipartisan and broad cooperation. We commit our steadfast support, and urge all Australians to work together to ensure referendum success. Let us co-operate across differences of politics and diversities of culture and faith, to heal our country and unify the nation.

Many sports clubs and codes have issued statements of support – Rugby Australia statement (May 2023) on Twitter, NRL, Football Australia, the Australian Olympic Committee and Tennis Australia. The AFL has issued a statement: “While we encourage everyone to seek the information they need to form their own views on the referendum, the AFL proudly supports the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution through the Voice to Parliament”. The AFL support is in keeping with the support for the Voice to Parliament by individual clubs.


Common Grace

(hard hitting but part of ‘truth telling’ that needs to happen)
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands on which we work and pay our respects to Indigenous Elders past, present and emerging. 
Sovereignty has never been ceded. It always was and always will be, Aboriginal land.
We recognise the past atrocities against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of this land and that Australia was founded on the genocide and dispossession of First Nations people. 
We acknowledge that colonial structures and policies remain in place today and recognise the ongoing struggles of First Nations people in dismantling those structures. 
The struggle to seek justice, to remember and address this nation’s past is ongoing and is a necessary requirement for individual and collective healing process.
We support the Uluru Statement from the Heart to achieve justice, recognition and respect for First Nations people and a referendum to enshrine a First Nations Voice in the Constitution. 
We accept the invitation contained in the Statement to walk together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.
Source: Australian Centre for International Justice,

Table Talk Conversations
The Yes, Together movement and Common Grace will be equipping and supporting people to host conversations, using the ‘Kitchen Table Conversation‘ model. It typically involves gathering a group of up to 10 people for a small group discussion around a particular issue (in this instance the issue is a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament). During this conversation, the conversation host would use provided materials to help guide a conversation around the upcoming referendum and invite guests to ask questions and have honest conversations. It can be held in a home – either around a kitchen table, in the living room or a backyard – or in a public setting like a park or café. More information here from Common Grace and Together Yes.

Uluru Statement Start a Yarn (keep an eye out for new dates)
The yarning circle concept is used by many First Nations peoples across the world. It’s a space for active listening and reflection. Join a yarning circle to learn more about First Nations culture and why the Uluru Statement and a First Nations Voice are so important.
Online, open to anyone.

NETWORKS (and many denominational networks)

Common Grace has provided training, resources and opportunities to listen, pray, give and join in action by:

  • helping to host and organise events in your local community
  • attending training to meet with your parliamentarians about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice
  • having conversations with your friends and community about the upcoming referendum
  • creatively engaging in listening to the voices that have been calling for Aboriginal Voice and justice in these lands, and
  • inviting your church to support and partner with Common Grace

(Youtube presentation introducing Common Grace campaign here)

From the Heart/Yes23 is a campaign for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament that is enshrined in the Constitution. It is now time for the Australian people to come together through a referendum and make this fair and practical change. From the Heart is the coordinating organisation supporting an Indigenous voice to parliament referendum and their campaign will involve recruiting volunteers, door-knockers and grassroots groups. Download From the Heart campaign toolkit and resources

Allies for Uluru – Resources (
Allies for Uluru is a coalition of 144+ organisations and thousands of individuals, and will be providing timely and relevant resources for community groups and individuals. Allies for Uluru will act as ‘conduit’ for organisations to support yes campaign, and includes Fred Hollows Foundation and Oxfam.

RESOURCES (print and online)

Translated Voice to Parliament Factsheets and Videos in 45 Languages available here: Voice to Parliament – Resources and Information | Life Without Barriers (

Great resources can be found on the Allies for Uluru website. 

UNITING FOR THE VOICE  – A voice to Parliament: 2-page explainer  

Here’s a very useful Referendum resource prepared by the Baptist Union of Victoria

And a paper from Rev Michael Dowling from Blackwood Uniting Church in SA. Very comprehensive – would make a great study resource for a small group. 

Quarterly Essay 90 – June 2023 
Voice of Reason: On Recognition and Renewal by Megan Davis.
Why a First Nations Voice to Parliament is a “constitutional moment” that offers a new vision of Australia.

Uniting Church in Australia – resources and information here.

The downloadable study guide on the Statement from the Heart was written by and for Second Peoples seeking to explore and pursue a truthful, just and meaningful relationship with First Peoples. Either on your own or in a group, you can explore over six sessions what First Peoples have said about Voice.Treaty.Truth in the Statement from the Heart. There is also a Facilitator’s Companion Guide for a study group. (Author Tim Molineux, Justice and International Mission, Vic/Tas UCA Synod).

A voice in the wilderness 8 part study guide on the Statement from the Heart (free downloadable PDF) written by Celia Kemp, Anglican Board of Mission’s Reconciliation Coordinator. As well there is a leader’s guide.

Crying Out – A Response to Exploring the Statement from the Heart and Care for the Environment
(Roman Catholic and Uniting Church dialogue in South Australia)
Downloadable resources

Responding to common concerns about an Aboriginal and Islander voice (Australian National University) – recommended

The Voice (Government website) – straightforward overview.

Government website for the Voice
In May 2023, Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney launched the government’s website,, designed to be a place to go for factual information about the proposal to establish an Indigenous Voice to Parliament that would be enshrined in the Australian Constitution. She says Australians will need it to be well-informed.

The Voice to Parliament Handbook
Thomas Mayo* and journalist Kerry O’Brien have co-authored The Voice to Parliament Handbook (available through bookstores and also Big W for $12). The handbook answers the most commonly asked questions about why the Voice should be enshrined in the Constitution, and how it might function to improve policies affecting Indigenous communities, and genuinely close the gap on inequalities at the most basic level of human dignity. 
(*Thomas Mayo, formerly known as Thomas Mayor)

A new multilingual poster contains a short message about the Voice referendum and directs people to the website for more information in their preferred language. You can download and share the poster across your digital networks, or print to display in your workplace or community area.

Indigenous Voice to Parliament Resource Pack (downloadable resource prepared for congregations by Baptist Union of Victoria)

New resource (May 2023) – Voice partnership and empowerment explained (informative digital flip book). Also, overview of main points on The Voice – Empowered Communities

Excellent powerpoint, prepared by Jenni and Barry Mitchell (Creative Ministries Network, Port Philip East Presbytery, Vic/Tas Synod, Uniting Church in Australia. Download at link.

Frequently Asked Questions – Rev Canon Glenn Loughrey.
Powerpoint presentations to accompany the Frequently Asked Questions.

Powerpoint resource on the Statement, by Rev Canon Glenn Loughrey

Referendum Information Booklet designed to be able to understand and to talk with others about the Statement from the Heart, by Rev Canon Glenn Loughrey

Social media ’tiles’ available in 45 languages from Life without Barriers. .

Unpacking the Statement from the Heart with Rev Canon Associate Professor Glenn Loughrey (and recorded by Initiatives of Change Australia) – really helpful to share & discuss with a group.

Canon Glenn Loughrey has produced three downloadable resources – 2 pamphlets and an e-book. Recommended.

What is The Voice pamphlet

Voice and Statement from the Heart e-book

Glenn Loughrey’s compilation of websites
Glenn’s website has excellent resources.
Other websites he’s recommended:      

Rev Canon Glenn Loughrey response to Peter Dutton’s Easter message. Read more here.

Easter sermon (3rd April) – Rev Canon Glenn Loughrey
This is my body; it’s all that I have’.

Rev Michael Dowling (UCA Minister, SA)
debunking misleading soundbite #1 (common myths about the Voice): ‘But we don’t have any details‘ (Youtube link)
20 mins
debunking misleading soundbite #2  “This will divide us by race” (YouTube link) 20 mins
=> very clear and informative – recommended viewing.

Tim Costello the Voice to Parliament (Youtube, 10 mins)

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Social Justice Statement 2023-2024, Listen Learn Love: A new engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Catholic perspectives on reconciliation and a Voice to Parliament

Related resources and links

A most insightful article by Walter Brueggemann on the Ethical Dignity of the Other, tracking the way ‘European’ colonisation was wholly unappreciative of local, native cultures and learning. That lack of appreciation led to the conclusion that “other peoples” were the unacceptable “other,” that is, different in ways that were therefore unfamiliar, unwelcome and dangerous. It led to the dismissal and/or elimination of the “other” that did not meet European expectations and requirements, taking the form of colonialism, enslavement, or genocide.

Chris Budden, Following Jesus in invaded space:doing theology on Aboriginal land.
Chris Budden, Why indigenous sovereignty should matter to Christians

Finding the Heart of the Nation by Thomas Mayor

Statements from the soul: The moral case for the Uluru Statement from the Heart edited by Shireen Morris.
A collection of passionate essays from religious leaders arguing for a First Nations Voice to be enshrined in the Australian Constitution

In this ground-breaking collection of essays, diverse religious leaders and thinkers come together to advocate for the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Contributors from Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh communities powerfully convey why a First Nations voice to parliament is necessary not only legally and politically, but also morally. Drawing on their unique spiritual beliefs, they argue that the Uluru Statement offers a profound opportunity to heal the wrongs of the past and ensure a better future for all Australians. A rallying cry of support across religious and political divisions, Statements from the Soul shows that the Uluru Statement goes to the heart of who we are as a country and is essential to reconciliation.
With a foreword by Noel Pearson and preface by Henry Pinskier. Contributors are Sabah Rind, Wesam Charkawi, Fiona Jose, Sardar Ajmer Singh Gill, Prakruthi Mysore Gururaj, Bhikkhu Sujato, Stan Grant, Antonios Kaldas, Ralph Genende, Russell Broadbent, Karina Okotel, Kanishka Raffel, Peter Comensoli, Anthony Ekpo, David Saperstein and Rowan Williams.
Listen to the ABC podcast with Stan Grant about the book.

Fr Frank Brennan, a revised version (May 2023).
This revised edition includes an Epilogue titled The Failed Quest for Bipartisanship on the Voice that addresses the new discussions, plus additional Appendices.


Facebook, Youtube.has really helpful online resources that can be used by individuals and congregations.

Rev Canon Garry Deverell’s presentation at the Walking Together conference (text): How can churches respond to their colonial heritage?

The Voice in Conversation – a new video featuring Brooke Prentis on ‘Good’. Brooke speaks through the lens of faith about the Voice. Excellent resource for viewing as a group in your church and as a catalyst for discussion and conversation.
Available on the ‘Good’ website (you need to create a free account).
Direct link is here.

Boyer Lecture 2022 – Noel Pearson
Indigenous community leader, lawyer, academic and land rights activist Noel Pearson reflects on ‘who we were and who we can be’.
(click on link)

Voice to Parliament, Voice to the World
Professor Henry Reynolds was the special guest at the University of Adelaide Bragg Theatre on 7 May, which was also part of the 2023 SA History Festival. Henry’s presentation was a tour de force. He made a powerful case for the YES vote in the coming referendum based upon Australia’s commitment to international conventions on the rights of indigenous people (including several historic Adelaide associations). Henry strongly rebutted the ‘rights’ argument advanced by the No campaign; quoted an astonishing statement by Tony Abbott, in support of constitutional recognition and indigenous representations to parliament from last decade, which is quite at odds with his current position; and outlined a number of scenarios which would follow either the success or the failure of the referendum. He believes the failure of the referendum will have profound international ramifications for Australia.
The talk was followed by forty minutes of questions and comments from an attentive and appreciative audience.
Listen to the audio of Professor Reynolds’ talk here.

The video below was recorded on 4/7/2023 during a webinar hosted by Gippsland Anglicans on the topic of “Yarning About the Referendum”. Guest speaker is The Revd Canon Associate Professor Uncle Glenn Loughrey. He is joined by The Revd Canon Aunty Phyllis Andy, and The Revd Kathy Dalton. The panel host is The Rt Revd Dr Richard Treloar, Bishop of Gippsland. An audience of about 70 people attended the webinar.

Noel Pearson webinar – Statement from the Heart:
Recognition and Voice in Constitution. Access to recording via Dropbox here.

The Voice: A Christian consideration
Youtube video here
This was an opportunity to hear from our panel of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Leaders about the upcoming Voice to Parliament referendum. The webinar was held on September 20th, 2023.
Jeremiah Riley is a Wajarri Yamatji and Ballardong Noongar man. He has lived and worked across Western Australia as both a Native Title Lawyer and a CEO of remote indigenous communities. He currently works for Senator Patrick Dodson, who is the special envoy on the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
Uncle Ray Minniecon is an Aboriginal pastor with roots in the Kabikabi and Gurang-Gurang tribes of Queensland. Uncle Ray is an advocate of climate and social justice, dedicating his life to supporting the Stolen Generations of Aboriginal people. He is an active Executive Member of the Indigenous Peoples’ Organisation Australia (IPO), which is a national coalition of 300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peak organisations, community organisations and individuals who advocate for the rights of Indigenous peoples. Uncle Ray current lives on Gadigal land in Sydney where he is co-leader of Scarred Tree Ministries.
Dawn Gilchrist is a Yamatji Elder and Christian Leader. Over the years, Dawn has worked with Australian Red Cross, WA Country Health Services (Goldfields) and Wadjak Northside Aboriginal Community Group. Dawn fellowships at Subiaco Church of Christ and in 2019 was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to community health.
Bianca Manning is a Gomeroi woman and Common Grace’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice Coordinator. Bianca has a Social Work degree and currently lives in Logan, South East Queensland on the lands of the Yuggera and Yagembeh peoples, working closely with Senior Aboriginal Christian Leader Aunty Jean Phillips in the Brisbane and Logan areas.
This discussion was facilitated and moderated by Nick Wight and Colin Battersby (Global Mission Partners).

Tim Costello on the Voice to Parliament
(Youtube, 10 mins)

Everything you need to know about the Referendum and the Voice (Youtube clip)
(the link will take you to Youtube for an excellent 13.41 introductory video)

Professor Anne Pattel-Gray‘s seminar is a call to the churches to support a ‘yes’ vote in the referendum on an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament.

Rev Canon Dr Garry Deverell‘s seminar is a lecture on the Uluru Statement and the design of the Voice. Garry is a Lecturer and Research Fellow, School of Indigenous Studies, University of Divinity.

A seminar on the Uluru Statement with Rev Canon Dr Garry Deverell, Rev Dr Katalina Tahaafe-Williams and Rev Tau’alofa Anga’aelangi.

A seminar on the Statement with Nathan Tyson, Anaiwon/ Gomeroi man and Manager, First Peoples Strategy and Engagement in the NSW/ACT Synod of the Uniting Church, the Rev Emily Hayes, UCA minister at John Flynn Memorial Church, Alice Springs, NT, Dr Laura Rademaker, Historian at Australian National University, whose book Found in Translation: Many Meanings on a North Australian Mission was awarded the 2020 Hancock Prize and the Rev Tim Matton-Johnson, Panninher man, currently living on Mumirimina country (Kutalayna: Lower Jordon river Valley, TAS.: at least 40,000 years of continuous human occupation.) Now retired; formally a UAICC minister.

A free online publication of the presentations is available on Trove

An excellent introductory video to the Statement and Referendum

On Monday, 20 February 2023, St Paul’s Cathedral hosted a panel discussion on the Voice to Parliament and its significance ahead of the upcoming national referendum. The event featured high-level experts in the field of Indigenous rights and cultural understanding, Canadian First Nations Leaders Lewis Cardinal, Chief Lee Crowchild and Rainbow Cardinal, as well as the Cathedral’s First Nations Canon, Uncle Glenn Loughrey.

On Youtube here. Professor Anne Pattel-Gray shares her insights into Australia’s First Nations religious and spiritual beliefs and practices that form the core of her theology. She explained how we are all held captive by our colonial heritage and that our theological education and institutions require liberation in order to be set free. She further explained the process to decolonise biblical and theological narratives and challenge Christians to become the radical change that is so desperately needed to transform a Nation.

Thomas Mayo is a Torres Strait Islander born on Larrakia Country in Darwin.

History, Truth Telling, & The Uluru Statement from the Heart (webinar by Thursday 21 July 2022, now available on Youtube). An initiative of the Uniting Church National History Society in association with the University of Divinity and the School of Indigenous Studies, bringing together Indigenous leaders and historians.

Rev Dr Chris Budden, Voice.Treaty.Truth symposium

Auntie Denise Champion, Voice.Treaty.Truth symposium

Aunty Prof Dr Anne Pattel-Gray: Statement from the Heart
Thomas Mayor speaking to ‘not-for-profits’ about the Referendum. ‘while the Voice would not give Indigenous groups any power to make or block legislation, it would mean they could less easily be dismissed, silenced, or ignored’.
The time has come…After 15 years of promises. The time has come for a referendum on Indigenous constitutional recognition through a Voice to Parliament.
Noel Pearson, 2022 Boyer Lecture on Constitutional Reform


First People’s Assembly
The First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria is the independent and democratically elected body to represent Traditional Owners of Country and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Victoria.

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS)
VALS has partnered with Amnesty Victoria on their #raise the age campaign for the Victorian election. Amnesty has launched a form that allows Victorians to email their local candidates. You can check it out here.

Campaign: #Raise the Age
Did you know? In Australia, children as young as 10 years are being sent to prison. Discover what this campaign is about.
Jamie Thom (Brunswick UC) recently made this ppt presentation.

Sheena Watt is a member of the Victorian Parliament, representing the Northern Metropolitan Region in the Legislative Council. She is the first Aboriginal Australian woman to represent the Australian Labor Party in the Parliament of Victoria.
Prior to becoming a member of Parliament, Sheena was an Executive Manager at AFL SportsReady and on the Board of Directors for some of the most important community organisations in Victoria.
Sheena has extensive experience in Aboriginal Affairs, health and employment and has a strong commitment to advocate for those who face poverty, discrimination, or disadvantage. She is committed to breaking down structural inequality and supporting healthy and connected communities.

Yoorrook is the first formal truth-telling body for First Peoples in Australia. Yoorrook means “truth” in Wemba Wemba. The Commission was established in May 2021 to hear, record and address the truths about First Peoples’ experiences of colonisation in Victoria since 1788 to now. Yoorrook has summarised the core elements of the Commission’s mandate into three central goals:
Truth – Yoorrook will create a lasting public record of historic and ongoing systemic injustice, how it came to occur and who
or what is responsible. It will draw on a wide range of sources and take a holistic approach that recognises both the diversity, commonalities, and continuities of First Peoples’ experiences.
Understanding – By deep listening to the voices of First Peoples, hearing their experiences, and learning how culture has evolved and survived amid trauma, Yoorrook will enable the broader Victorian community to understand the links between past, present and future.
Transformation – Yoorrook will propose changes to laws, institutions and systems which can be taken up through treaty negotiations and other ways to build new relationships between all Victorians, including by holding the State accountable. These reforms must remedy injustices against First Peoples so that Victoria can turn a new page.
Read the interim report here.
The report details Elders’ experiences of historical and ongoing systemic injustice at the individual, family, community and state level organised under eleven key themes:

  1.  Dispossession and dislocation
    Listen to Aunty Stephanie Charles at the Swan Hill Yarning Circle
  2. Political exclusion, representation and resistance
    Listen to Geoff Clark and Jidah Clark at the Gariwerd (Halls Gap) Yarning Circle
  3. Families, kinship and stolen children
    Listen to Uncle Johnny Lovett yarning in Hamilton
  4. Stolen wages and economic marginalisation
  5. Legal injustice and incarceration
    Listen to Aunty Liz Heta at the Wodonga Yarning Circle
    Listen to Braydon Saunders yarning at Lake Condah 
    Listen to Aunty Tina Wright yarning at Lake Condah
  6. Injuries to body and spirit
    Listen to Marjorie Thorpe at the Lake Tyers Elders’ Yarning Circle Note: This video contains images of people who may be deceased.
  7. Disrespect and denial of culture
  8. Damage to, and denial of country
    Listen to Uncle Possum Clarke-Ugle at the Framlingham Elders’ Yarning Circle
    Listen to Tati Tati Traditional Owners at Robinvale
  9. Stolen and misused knowledge, culture and data
  10. A colonial education system
  11. Public silencing and denial 

In addition to the issues of concern raised by Elders, the first interim report outlines the foundational work of the Yoorrook Justice Commission in establishing culturally appropriate and trauma-informed processes to ensure participant safety and wellbeing including:

  • developing a methodology based on Aboriginal ways of knowing, being and doing  
  • adopting terms from Victorian First Peoples’ languages for key processes
  • designing a social and emotional wellbeing support model that uses the strengths, resilience and connectedness of First Peoples and their communities to provide a safe, supportive and culturally appropriate forum for First Peoples 
  • developing Indigenous Data Sovereignty and data governance policies and systems to make sure First Peoples keep control over how their information is used
  • designing our nuther-mooyoop (submissions) and wurrek tyerrang (hearing) processes to minimise trauma and provide First Peoples with options for how they can engage with Yoorrook’s inquiry
  • making sure our premises and communications are culturally appropriate  

Finally, the report proposes that the next phase of Yoorrook’s work focus on two priority areas — state-sanctioned removal of First Peoples’ children from their families, and the continuing injustices experienced by First People in the criminal justice system.

Contact: Yoorrook, 54 Wellington Street Collingwood
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