Noel Pearson, Founder of Cape York Partnership and Good to Great Schools Australia, welcomed the support saying that organisations and their people from all corners of the nation, including South Australia, want Indigenous recognition to be achieved.
“From Tasmania to the Torres Straits, there has been an extraordinary number of people and groups interested in conversations about the positive outcomes that will come from a successful referendum.
“What we do at this referendum will be absolutely momentous for the country and I am incredibly uplifted by the support and goodwill of this diverse range of indigenous and non-indigenous organisations coming out today to support our people for the future with a Yes vote.
“This most important chance to make a difference comes around so infrequently that I want South Australians to know that the Yes campaign will leave no stone unturned, and will continue to bring our great hope for unity to front doors
and letterboxes across the state,” Pearson concluded.
Purple House CEO Sarah Brown AM said: “Purple House demonstrates that positive outcomes are more than possible when communities lead the solutions for their own families. Our Pintupi Luritja Directors are unanimously in support of the Yes campaign to address long overdue recognition of their people in the Australian constitution and to ensure that major decisions impacting their communities will always be informed by Indigenous voices in the future.”
Executive Director of The Don Dunstan Foundation Kate Baldock said: “As a progressive thought-leadership organisation, we work on collaborative projects that build on the legacy of the former South Australian Premier Don Dunstan. As Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and as Premier, Dunstan led significant reforms to improve the lives of First Nations people and to support a fairer and more progressive society. The best policies are made when we listen to those who they affect, and we believe the Voice is the next step we need to take as a country to walk together with First Nations people.”
NPY Women’s Council Chairperson Margaret Smith said First Nations people need their solutions to be heard in order to close the gap.
“There are real and long-lasting improvements in the NPY region when Aboriginal people get to decide what is best for them and their families. We have seen this work for Anangu in the investment in youth divergent programs, the establishment of cross-border justice schemes and the management of alcohol sales.
“For thousands and thousands of years, we have had our own systems and laws, and we know what works for us. The establishment of a Voice – a channel to communicate this knowledge to Government – would bring about radical and impactful change.”
UnitingSA Chief Executive Officer Jenny Hall said: “UnitingSA stands proudly alongside a growing number of organisations showing their support for the Yes campaign and the full implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Securing a constitutionally-enshrined Voice to Parliament is the pivotal first step in addressing the injustices of the past and giving First Nations peoples a long overdue voice on issues that affect their lives.”
Tandanya CEO Phillip Saunders said Tandanya supports a Voice to Parliament and Constitutional Recognition because it is a step in the right direction.
“We see this time in history as a unifying moment. It is a healing opportunity and importantly, a Voice to Parliament and constitutional change is a gift to our children,” he said.
Australian Alliance to End Homelessness (AAEH) CEO David Pearson said AAEH advocates for a Voice to parliament because it wants to bring the perspectives of those most affected by the tragedy of homelessness into the heart of government decision-making.
“Homelessness is a preventable and solvable problem; there are communities around the world that are ending it. In Australia, however, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations are overrepresented and numbers are increasing. What we are doing isn’t working, and what we need to do is better listen to the perspectives of the people affected by this, which is why the Australian Alliance to End Homelessness supports a constitutionally recognised Voice to Parliament.”
CEO of the Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council South Australia (ADAC) Scott Wilson said: “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were ignored when the Australian Constitution was written over 120 years ago, and this has continued to drive the socio-economic and inter-generational traumas still suffered today.
“At ADAC, we’re involved in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. We’ve been recipients of government funding, and we’ve witnessed the repercussions of this funding being retracted by successive governments. We support a constitutionally-enshrined Voice because we believe a permanent sounding board for government decision-making on Indigenous affairs is our best chance of maintaining the agreement’s priority reforms, meeting its socio-economic targets and finally closing the gap.”
The South Australian organisations signing a joint statement to support a yes vote include:
1. Australian Sikh Support
2. Council of Christian and Jews
3. Australian Refugee Association
4. Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council
5. South Australian Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation Network (SAACCON)
6. South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS)
7. Tamil Arts Australia
8. Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute
9. Uniting SA
10. Reconciliation SA
11. The Dunstan Foundation
12. Australian Film Diversity and Inclusion Foundation
13. Welcoming Australia
14. NPY Women’s Council
15. The Wyatt Trust
16. NPY Empowered Communities
17. Purple House
18. Ngarrindjeri Ruwe Empowered Communities
19. SA Unions
21. Australian Alliance to end Homelessness
22. Islamic Society of SA
23. Cisarua Learning