unite for Voice Referendum
Religious leaders urge politicians to work together across party divides to achieve a constitutionally guaranteed First Nations Voice.
February 22, 2023
The Uniting Church has joined a coalition of faith organisations calling on all Federal parliamentarians to co-operate across political divides in support of the upcoming Voice referendum.
Signed by UCA President Rev Sharon Hollis, the letter describes the Voice as “an invitation to move towards national healing, unity and reconciliation”.
“As leaders of Australia’s major religious and ethno-religious organisations, we call on Australia’s political leaders and all federal parliamentarians to support the Voice, called for by First Nations Australians through the Uluru Statement from the Heart."
The alliance of nine national organisations represents diverse Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Buddhist and Jewish communities, which have come together to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Their letter builds on the joint resolution released by the group in May last year, which urged bipartisan action on the Voice referendum.
The letter reads, "We call on parliamentarians to find ways to collaborate constructively across political divides to achieve the modest constitutional recognition First Nations people seek: a constitutionally guaranteed Voice in their own affairs."
"The Voice is an invitation to move towards national healing, unity and reconciliation. It seeks to formalise in our Constitution a way by which First Nations’ voices and concerns can be heard, and to establish a means for overcoming the devastating effects of social exclusion."
"This is an opportunity to unite Australians around a proposal that seeks to make life better for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people."
Religious leaders sign a historic Joint Resolution in support of the Uluru Statement from the Heart in May last year.
The joint letter was sent on Wednesday morning as part of a ‘week of action’ in support of the Yes campaign for the referendum. It urges parliamentarians to to find ways to collaborate constructively across political divides to achieve the modest constitutional recognition First Nations people seek.
"Whatever our disagreements, let us work together to resolve them. The Voice referendum deserves cross-party co-operation," the letter reads.
"Future generations of Australians will not forgive us if we fail to grasp the historical moment, and ‘advance Australia’ further along the path of justice."
The letter reflects growing multifaith and multicultural support for the referendum. Indigenous film-maker Rachel Perkins, who launched the joint resolution last year, said “This is an alliance of great spiritual power, speaking persuasively to political power, and asking politicians to co-operate across political divides to achieve Indigenous recognition, for the good of my people and the country as a whole.”
Pacific Australian Emerging Leaders Summit 2023 Emerging leaders meet with the nation’s decision-makers to advocate for justiceBy Raúl SugunananthanLast week, the Pacific Australian Emerging Leaders Summit (PAELS) met for a second year running. The Summit gathered 68 young people from the Pacific Islands, the Pacific diaspora living in Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander communities,…
Raise the Age week of action
Raise the Age Support the campaign to Raise the Age of criminal responsibility to keep children in schools and communitiesAustralia imprisons children as young as 10, one of the youngest ages of criminal responsibility in the world. Yet overwhelming evidence from health experts, social workers, Indigenous leaders, legal experts and human rights organisations show that…
Walk for Yes
This weekend thousands of supporters for a ‘yes’ vote in the referendum will “Walk for Yes” in events across the country to show there is wide and deep support for a First Nations Voice. The Uniting Church supports the Voice as an opportunity to celebrate the First Peoples of Australia in our…
National weekend of prayer, reflection and meditation
Communities of faith all over the country are invited to participate in a National Weekend of Prayer, Reflection and Meditation from 8-10 September to reflect on and pray for unity and hope in the lead-up to the Voice referendum.“This is an opportunity for us to open your hearts again to what is…
Referendum date announced
Referendum date announced Now is the time to join others in actions to support a Yes to healing and hope. The Uniting Church in Australia welcomes the announcement of 14 October as the date for the referendum on an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress National Interim Chair…
Taking action for the Voice
Taking action for the Voice Four ways you can support a Yes vote in the Referendum In the Meanjin oration delivered on Monday night, Indigenous leader Noel Pearson spoke about the long and arduous pathway toward recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that has led to the referendum. But at this critical…
NATSI Children's Day 2023
This Friday 4 August is National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day – a celebration of the strengths and culture of First Nations children. This year’s theme “Little Voices, Loud Futures”, acknowledges that a First Nations Voice would amplify the work being done to ensure First Nations children…
5 UCA voices on the Voice
5 voices on the Voice Five pieces of writing from Uniting Church people on the Voice to Parliament The Voice to Parliament continues to be a defining conversation for our nation this year. There is a lot of talk in the public space and a lot of information to process. Across the Uniting Church,…