The St Vincent de Paul Society is advocating for a National Voice to be enshrined in the Australian Constitution as part of its response to the Indigenous Voice Co-Design Interim Report to the Commonwealth.
National president Claire Victory said that enshrining a National Voice in the Constitution would strengthen empowerment, self-determination and subsidiarity and that substantial reform to consultation processes and delivery of programs is also needed.
“In addition to support for the From the Heart Campaign, the Society calls on the Australian Government to honour its election commitment to hold a referendum once a model for the Voice has been settled,” Ms Victory said.
“The Society supports the passage of enabling legislation for the Voice to be passed after a referendum has been held in the next term of Parliament.
“And we support a membership model for the National Voice that ensures previously unheard Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the same chance as established leadership figures of being selected.
“Any membership, representative or consultative body needs to reflect the fact that communities are unique and constantly changing; and the body needs to be agile enough to respond to localised issues but have the mandate to address national matters.
“The approach outlined by the From the Heart campaign will give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a say on the policies and laws that impact their lives. It will also ensure that Parliament and the Australian Government are more appropriately informed in their approach to Indigenous affairs policy and law-making. Ultimately, this will result in better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
A copy of the National Council’s submission is available here.
National Indigenous Voice must be enshrined in the Constitution (St Vincent de Paul Society)