UNICEF Australia supports the constitutional recognition of a Voice to Parliament for First Nations peoples as aspired to in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
Our mandate is to protect the rights of children and young people to improve their lives. We believe all children have the right to survive, thrive and be supported to reach their full potential. However, we know there are disparities experienced by First Nations children in Australia and that business as usual is no longer an option.
At our core is a commitment to children and young people having a voice in matters that affect their lives. When every child and young person is given this opportunity, UNICEF sees it result in better outcomes.
This is why UNICEF Australia supports constitutional recognition of an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
This same principle of participation is needed to drive better outcomes for First Nations communities in Australia. The Voice to Parliament is an essential step in creating a fairer and more equitable future for all Australian children.
Recognition in the Constitution will also ensure this step change is durable and lasting, unlike simple legislation which can be easily changed.
We believe it can also help heal past injustices, more accurately reflect our rich cultural identity, and put Australia on a path to reconciliation that will make us a more harmonious and unified society.
The words of the Uluru Statement from the Heart say it best – “When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.”
UNICEF Australia invites you to join us in making this vision for Australia’s children a reality, by voting YES in the upcoming referendum.