Statement on the 2023 Voice to Parliament Referendum

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Statement on the 2023 Voice to Parliament Referendum

Statement on the 2023 Voice to Parliament Referendum

Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE) welcomes the forthcoming referendum to establish a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution. This referendum asks Australians to vote “to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice” (Hon. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, 23 March 2023), the legislative detail of which will be defined by Parliament, in broad consultation.

We acknowledge this referendum as an opportunity to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to re-establish their right to advise on matters that affect them after 235 years of fighting for recognition.

SSE’s values and principles are embedded and enacted in our people, place, practice, philosophy, and partnerships. Through this frame, the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are paramount in helping inform, guide and lead our activities as we work to dismantle systemic barriers to employment and education, and deliver the best outcomes to improve quality of life for all people, widening access to work as a gateway to financial independence, building social connection, and encouraging personal self-determination.

At SSE we acknowledge and learn from the leadership and voice of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partners, who are this Nation’s great source of education, scholarship, sustainability and wellbeing.  

The forthcoming referendum is based on the principle of providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians with a defined voice to legislation and policy that impact Indigenous communities and quality of life. As a leading centre of inter-connected learning and skills development, SSE is committed to fairness and social justice, and to the cultural safety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; we advocate for these principles throughout the discussions surrounding the constitutional reform.

SSE is proud to affirm our support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart and its call for a First Nations Voice to Parliament. The Uluru Statement represents a historic opportunity for all Australians to walk together to address past injustices and empower Indigenous communities through genuine recognition and reconciliation. At SSE, we are committed to fostering an inclusive environment and engaging in compassionate conversations that promote diversity, equity, and understanding within our organisation and the broader Australian community. By embracing the principles of the Uluru Statement, we aim to contribute to a stronger and more united Australia where every individual's voice is heard and valued.

We recognise that there are differing views and opinions on this matter, and we encourage respectful and inclusive debate as part of a national conversation to support the process to enshrine the First Nations Voice in the Constitution. A variety of resources are available to help inform respectful debate about the Voice, the referendum and the Uluru Statement.