11 May 2023


the voice:


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UniSA Video
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Images: Top, Professors Tom Calma AO and Dr Marcia Langton AO
and Above, Extract from the 'Uluru Statement from the heart', 
Artwork by Anangu Uwankaraku Punu Aboriginal Corporation (Maruku Arts).
Art project led by Rene Kulitja, Painted by
Christine Brumby, Charmaine Kulitja and Happy Reid

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professor tom calma ao
professor Dr marcia langton ao 

The referendum for Australians to vote on whether to enshrine a proposed Voice to Parliament into the Constitution is long overdue but it will occur before the end of the year. In the lead up to the referendum, there are a divergence of opinions supporting and opposing the Voice and many who are undecided and want more information. Professors Dr Marcia Langton AO and Tom Calma AO will share their perspectives and experiences to explore why the Voice is needed and how it potentially will function. They will also address the common misinformation and hypotheticals that are consuming the media.

Professor Tom Calma AO will discuss the history of voices, the co-design process and final report recommendations and the post Garma role of the Referendum Working Group and the Referendum Engagement Group.  

Professor Dr Marcia Langton AO will discuss how the National Voice will potentially be complemented by regional voice arrangements as recommended in the Final Co-design Report.

Both will also address some of the misinformation, spurious and hypothetical claims, and calls for more details and the impact of these distractions on reconciliation and the advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

At this event, Professor Calma and Professor Dr Langton received Honorary Doctorates from UniSA in recognition of their service to the community. 

More Information:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice website
Indigenous Voice Co-design Report 

Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre 

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Professor Tom Calma AO
Co-Chair, voice co-design Senior Advisory Group
chancellor, university of canberra

Professor Tom Calma AO is of Kungarakan and Iwaidja heritage from the Darwin region. Currently the Chancellor of the University of Canberra, a Professor at the University of Sydney and the National Coordinator for Tackling Indigenous Smoking he has served as Race Discrimination Commissioner (2004-2009) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner (2004-2010). He was a senior diplomat (1995-2002) and senior advisor to the Minister of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs and was awarded an Order of Australia in 2012 in recognition of his advocacy, work in human rights and social justice and distinguished service to the Indigenous community. He is an Alumnus of the University of South Australia.

More Information 

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professor DR marcia langton ao
Co-Chair, voice co-design Senior Advisory Group
associate provost, university of melbourne 

Professor Dr Marcia Langton AO, an anthropologist, geographer and academic, is a descendant of the Yiman and Bidjara nations of Queensland. Langton has devoted her career to advancing the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Since 2000, she has held the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne, where she also serves as an Associate Provost.

Langton's advocacy career began in 1977 when she served as the General Secretary of the Federal Council for Advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. She made a significant contribution to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, authoring the report, Too Much Sorry Business. She was a member of the Aboriginal negotiating panel influencing the passage of the Native Title Act through the Federal Parliament in 1993.

Marcia has published numerous articles and books on a range of topics related to Indigenous peoples, including land tenure, agreement-making, and art and film. Her publications include Burning Questions: Emerging Environmental Issues for Indigenous Peoples in Northern Australia (1998), Settling with Indigenous People (2006), and Welcome to Country: A Travel Guide to Indigenous Australia (2018). Her contributions to the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians in 2011 further demonstrate her dedication to Indigenous advocacy. As a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia, Langton continues to be a frank and forceful presence in the Australian media.

The Conversation: Professor Dr Marcia Langton AO Articles


Presented by
The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre


While the views presented by speakers within The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia, or The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: Strengthening our Democracy - Valuing our Diversity - Building our Future. The Hawke Centre reserves the right to change their program at any time without notice.