The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) supports the establishment of the Indigenous Voice to parliament, to be enshrined in the Australian Constitution.
Referendum on the Voice to parliament
Before the end of the year, Australians will be asked to vote in a referendum on the question of establishing the Indigenous Voice to parliament.
The Voice to parliament would act as an independent and permanent advisory body, giving advice to the Australian Federal Parliament and Federal Government about matters which affect the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and will be known as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
The Voice would be enshrined in the Australian Constitution and represent an important milestone in constitutional recognition of Indigenous people, as set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
After careful consideration, CCWA supports the campaign for a ‘yes’ vote in the referendum and has adopted a formal position in support of the Voice.
Why does CCWA support the creation of the Voice to parliament?
CCWA recognises the importance of working alongside Indigenous people in the protection and conservation of Western Australia’s natural environment. CCWA is also committed to supporting Indigenous empowerment and self-determination.
As Western Australia’s peak body for conservation of the environment, CCWA’s purpose is to advocate for the protection of our state’s iconic natural places for future generations and for the native species which call those places home.
As these places all fall within the traditional lands of Indigenous people, it follows that part of CCWA’s purpose is to help protect – and promote forums which advocate for the sustainable management of – Country for Indigenous people.
As such, it is important that CCWA supports the creation of a Voice to parliament, which will be a structured entity where Indigenous people can advocate for the effective management of their Country, among other important issues.
What is CCWA doing to help support Indigenous communities in WA?
As Western Australia’s peak body for conservation and the environment, we value, recognise and endeavour to better understand the deep connections that our Indigenous partners have with their Country in this state.
We work hand in hand with Indigenous communities across WA, helping to protect vulnerable landscapes, habitat, species and Country.
Our commitment to these partnerships is reflected in the theme for this year’s CCWA annual conference, Supporting the work of youth & Aboriginal people in the conservation sector. Through this theme, we are seeking to further develop and sustain proactive partnerships with Traditional Owners across the state, walking with groups as they determine their own priorities.
Our commitment is also evident through our recent establishment of an Indigenous Advisory Board - a new initiative for our organisation. The CCWA Indigenous Advisory Board will provide insight on increasing Indigenous participation and representation in addressing environmental and conservation issues facing Western Australia. It will also provide guidance to CCWA in order to influence its decision making, working practices and cultural competency.
This year, CCWA also set out its position on the debate over Australia’s national day, advocating for a change of date from 26 January, which can be a polarising and difficult day for many Indigenous people.
How can I support the campaign for a ‘yes’ vote?
CCWA is proud to support the Yes23 campaign and we will be sharing its messages and materials to encourage Western Australians to support this important moment of change for Australia.
The Yes 23 campaign has a wealth of resources and opportunities to get involved in advocating for the Indigenous Voice to parliament.
For more information, please visit: yes23.com
MEDIA INFORMATION: The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) is the state’s foremost non-profit, non-government conservation organisation representing nearly 100 environmental organisations across Western Australia.
For more information, visit: ccwa.org.au.
CONTACT: For any enquiries relating to this release, please contact Robert Davies
08 9420 7291 / 0412 272 570 or by email, [email protected]