Perth Festival Voice to Parliament Statement
This statement is made in consultation with Perth Festival’s Noongar Advisory Circle.
Perth Festival is privileged to be permitted by the Noongar people to produce and present art that connects diverse communities here on Noongar Boodjar. The Noongar remain the spiritual and cultural birdiyangara of this place and we honour their continuing connection to Country, culture and community.
Later this year, we take a historic step with the Referendum on the Voice to Parliament. To be a voice for generations, Australians can use their power, their words and their vote to shape a better nation with justice at its heart for everyone.
Perth Festival supports a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.
Like many organisations around Australia, Perth Festival encourages all Australians to do what they can to understand the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Read the Statement here.
A First Nations Voice to Parliament protected by the Constitution is a key element of the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart. The Statement is a gracious gift to the nation - a generous invitation to listen to the largest consensus of First Nations people in Australia’s history. Six years on, a Voice to Parliament can finally give First Australians a direct say in the laws and policies that impact them.
Embedding a Voice in the Constitution will recognise the special place of First Nations people in Australia’s 60,000-year history. It also would mean their voice can’t be shut down, dismissed, silenced or ignored by successive governments. Unlike other racial or ethnic groups, governments have made laws and policies specifically about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, without their say, and too often to their detriment.
We are inspired by the courage, leadership and generosity of spirit of those who contributed to the Uluru Statement from the Heart. We understand that this emerges from a long struggle for justice and political recognition over many decades.
We accept their invitation to walk together towards a brighter future on this continent, this country, our home. We urge all Australians to cast their vote in the referendum to create positive change.
We believe we must seize this moment for ourselves and for future generations. There is so much to gain for all Australians. This is an opportunity for a nation born from many nations to find its collective heart.
Image by Toni Wilkinson