Australia is a proud and diverse nation with a rich cultural heritage that dates back at least 65,000 years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the first peoples of Australia and can proudly claim the oldest continuing culture on our planet.
But First Nations people are not recognised in our Constitution – this must change. A Voice to Parliament will provide advice to the Federal Government about laws and policies that affect or impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
To explain The Voice and its impacts, the City of Sydney is holding a free public talk at Town Hall in July.
Hosted by Professor Stan Grant, a proud Wiradjuri, Kamilaroi, and Dharawal man – the evening will assemble First Nations elders, political and community leaders, and experts in constitutional reform.
Keynote speeches will be given by the Hon Linda Burney MP, Minister for Indigenous Australians; Noel Pearson, lawyer, land rights activist, and founder of the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership; and Lord Mayor Clover Moore AO.
The panel is comprised of co-authors of The Voice to Parliament Handbook, journalist Kerry O’Brien and Thomas Mayo, from the First Nations Referendum Working Group; Anne Twomey AO, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Sydney, Dr. Shireen Morris, director of the Radical Centre Reform Lab and senior lecturer at Macquarie University Law School; and Shane Phillips, CEO of the Tribal Warrior Association.
“This referendum provides all Australians with the opportunity to come together and recognise the history, and ongoing relationship of First Nations people with this land,” Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore AO said.
“This is an opportunity to hear directly from leaders and experts on what the Voice to Parliament will mean for our nation’s future and to learn more about this rare chance to make a major positive impact now and for future generations.”
At the City of Sydney, we have had our own ‘Voice’ to Council – the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel – since 2008. This panel provides advice to inform our policies and strengthen our relationship with First Nations organisations and leaders.
In 2018, Council recognised the unique status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as custodians of this land and supported the recommendations of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which included a Voice to Parliament.
A series of events and workshops will be held across City of Sydney venues over the coming months for anyone to attend and learn more about the referendum to make an informed decision. You can find more about those events here: city.sydney/voice.
Eligible community groups can apply for a fee waiver to host Voice to Parliament referendum and Uluru Statement of the Heart-related events and activities in our community spaces.
Opportunities are also available for up to three recognised community organisations to host free public events supporting the campaign for a Yes vote in one of the City’s landmark venues, Sydney Town Hall, Lower Town Hall and/or Paddington Town Hall.
Value-in-kind sponsorships of up to $30,000 each plus GST are available to contribute towards venue hire, equipment hire and staffing fees. The free public events must be for a minimum of 500 people. Information about the grants can be found here, and applications close on 31 July 2023.
The City of Sydney is also supporting the Yes23 campaign led by Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition Limited. Sydney Come Together For Yes will be held at Prince Alfred Park on 2 July and invites everyone to celebrate together for a better future, towards reconciliation, towards a yes vote.
CityTalk: Why the Voice to Parliament is essential for all Australians
Date: Wednesday 19 July 2023
Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Where: Centennial Hall, Sydney Town Hall
The event is free but tickets must be booked through Ticketmaster.
Authorised by Clover Moore in Sydney on behalf of Sydney City Council.
For more information on the CityTalk go to whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au
For more information on the City’s broader support for a First Nations Voice, visit news.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au
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