Gateway Health strongly supports the referendum for the alteration of the Australian Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament (the Voice).
The Voice will recognise the essential place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our history and future and will ensure meaningful consultation to help inform laws and policy decisions that affect them. It will not be vulnerable to continual changes in government and policy.
This is beyond politics.
Our position is guided by the Uluru Statement from the Heart and our commitment to reconciliation. The Uluru Statement from the Heart was developed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from across the nation and invites us all to “walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.”
Gateway Health is committed to the process of genuine recognition of the truth of Australia’s history and to addressing the disadvantages that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continue to face. We recognise the strong and continuing connection to land, water, ancestors and spirits in spite of the history of colonisation, dispossession, disease and discrimination still impacting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
Enshrining the Voice in the Australian Constitution will provide a solid foundation for enabling all Australians to work together to address the social, environmental and economic determinants of health and wellbeing. We believe that to achieve significant and sustainable change leading to reconciliation and a meaningful reduction in health inequities, systemic racism and intergenerational trauma, solutions must be led and informed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Gateway Health as an organisation values inclusiveness and diversity and promotes the individual’s right to choose. We recognise the harm created through isolation and exclusion. As the referendum approaches, the Yes/No debate has the potential to polarise communities and impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and families.
We encourage all to think about making this an opportunity for positive inclusive and respectful conversation and consider the human rights of all people.
More information is available at reconciliation.org.au/reconciliation/support-a-voice-to-parliament/