A Public Statement by ADSSI Limited
We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to the Elders, past, present, and future, and recognise the continuing connection and contribution to this land.
Here at ADSSI, we aim to help people live at home and in their communities with independence and positive wellness. We proudly deliver quality and safe home care to support clients and their loved ones – regardless of race, religious beliefs, or sexual and gender identity.
We also know that certain groups in our community face barriers to accessing health and community care. Our long-standing support for equality and recognition for all people in this country is clear in our service delivery and workplace practices.
ADSSI is committed to achieving equity and equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia through our Aboriginal Reconciliation Plan, our Acknowledgement of Country (affirming the Traditional Custodians of the lands and their contribution and connection to this great land), and our Acknowledgement of Diversity (affirming the right to equality, respect, and fairness for all peoples).
We welcome any discussion on supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as Australia prepares for the referendum on preserving an Indigenous voice in Australia’s Constitution.
ADSSI respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s right to self-determination, inclusivity, and the right to be heard. However, our organisation also respects the democratic process and would not tell our staff, volunteers, or client community how to vote. Our role is to provide home care (free from political and religious influence) to help our clients live their best lives.
We take this role seriously and hope to continue supporting clients to live independently, including supporting them to make informed decisions on topics that matter to them as individuals and as our clients.
This information aims to help our staff, volunteers, and client and stakeholder community in understanding the significance of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, learn more about the Uluru Statement, and make an informed decision when casting their vote in the upcoming referendum.
What is The Voice?
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, also known as the Indigenous Voice to Parliament or the Voice, is a proposed Australian federal advisory body including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to represent the views of Indigenous communities.
The Voice is a proposal contained within the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The Statement represents diverse views from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia. It was developed through a series of Regional Dialogues involving more than 1200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country.
In late 2023, Australians will have their say in a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia through an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice preserved in our Constitution.
This referendum is another step closer to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s right to self-determination, inclusivity, respect, and the right to be heard.
The Australian Constitution is the set of rules by which Australia is governed, and the only way to change the Constitution is by holding a referendum. It is up to the Australian people to decide if the Constitution should change.
We know there are varied opinions about The Voice, and we do not wish to divide people over their views. We encourage our staff, volunteers, and client community to visit voice.gov.au for comprehensive information, including a Voice Information Booklet and a Community Toolkit.
Arguments for and against The Voice
With a referendum, The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) must distribute a pamphlet to Australian voters containing the Yes and No cases prepared by parliamentarians who voted for and against the proposed law. This pamphlet will be printed and sent to all households closer to referendum voting day.
Within this pamphlet, the AEC did not have any say in the content of the Yes and No cases. The parliamentary committees responsible for writing each case provided the words used in them.
Indigenous and political perspectives
Deakin University has collated a balanced summary of the different viewpoints on the Voice to Parliament. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that this website and content linking to external resources may have images, voices, and names of deceased persons.
The Official ‘Yes’ vote
The ‘Yes’ campaign asserts the Voice to Parliament enables the self-determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, providing opportunities to inform policy and legal decisions that directly affect them. Embedding this in the Constitution would give distinct recognition to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, which future governments could not reverse.
Watch this video (1:06) that invites all Australians to join in and work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in a movement for a better future and to support a Yes vote in the referendum.
The Official ‘No’ vote
The ‘No’ campaign is ‘Australians for Unity.’ Shadow Indigenous Australians Minister Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and Nyunggai Warren Mundine AO lead this campaign. In May 2023, Price and Mundine merged their respective ‘No’ campaigns, ‘Fair Australia’ and ‘Recognise a Better Way.’
Arguments for the ‘No’ vote include that the Voice won’t deliver meaningful change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people or that Sovereignty and Treaty should be prioritised ahead of a Voice to Parliament.
Watch this video (8:59) to hear why Senator Price, a Warlpiri woman, opposes the Voice to Parliament on the grounds that it is racially divisive.