05 July 2023

The Uluru 'Statement from the Heart’ called for the establishment of a ‘First Nations Voice’ in the Australian Constitution

The University of South Australia (UniSA) joins Reconciliation Australia and its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) network in supporting the Voice to Parliament referendum.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd confirmed that the University’s Academic Board has unanimously voted to support the principle of enshrining a First Nations Voice to Parliament in the Australian Constitution.

“While the University does not usually hold positions on political issues, in the case of the Voice, our institution has a deep commitment to Aboriginal education and the advancement of Aboriginal Peoples,” Prof Lloyd says.

“Endorsing the Voice is about addressing the question: should there be a Voice enshrined in our Constitution? Should there be the recognition of Australia’s First Nations Peoples in our Constitution?

“Endorsing this principle is consistent with the mission and commitments of our University.”

UniSA strives to be a university of choice for Aboriginal Peoples. It is currently developing its third RAP, a Stretch RAP to be launched this year, and has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to Aboriginal advancement since its beginning, through its founding Act and initiatives including the Aboriginal Taskforce and Australia’s first Aboriginal Tertiary Program. UniSA was the first university in South Australia to complete a RAP. 

Prof Lloyd says the University respects the right of every individual to have their own views and is encouraging discussion on the Voice referendum. 

“We realise there are many discussions and perspectives surrounding the referendum and stress the importance of being informed, and the need to extend respect to all voices in this conversation,” Prof Lloyd says.

“I encourage staff, students and the broader community to educate themselves about the referendum, what is needed for it to be successful, and what a Voice to Parliament would mean to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.”

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