VAEAI position Statement on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament
As the Peak body in Aboriginal Education in Victoria, VAEAI needs to take a firm stance on our position on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament. VAEAI knows too well of the importance of community voice as we have advocated and carried the voice of our community since our inception. It is the voice of our community that has lead to the great gains that we have made today.
“VAEAI supports the proposition of the voice being taken before the people as it contains many possibilities that pursue reconciliation and national maturity. We also fully understand that across communities there are differing positions that can lead to confusion. In its simplest form the referendum asks, ‘should we as a people be heard?’
It is because of our very closely linked to the communities that we understand there is a range of divergent views across held by our people on different models. We have never been fazed by different views and in fact we should see it as an asset and a sign of our strength for our people for true developments rests in the creative tension between oppositional views.”
VAEAI’s President Geraldine Atkinson is part of the Referendum Working Group which has landed on the question that will be asked:
“A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Do you approve this proposed alteration?”
As well as that, it will also be put to Australians that the constitution be amended to include a new chapter titled “Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples”. The details will be:
In recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia:
- There shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice;
- The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to the Parliament and the Executive Government of the Commonwealth on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
- The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws with respect to matters relating to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, including its composition, functions, powers and procedures.