The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


23 Sep 2023

Doherty Institute position statement regarding Voice to Parliament

The Doherty Institute supports the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament. The Institute recognises the significant potential for the Voice to improve equity and health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders across Australia. The Institute believes that supporting a clear ‘yes’ vote in the upcoming referendum aligns with our values. We encourage all Australians to become more familiar with the specifics of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

The Institute recommends the following websites to gain further information: 

  • The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a 2017 petition by Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to change the constitution of Australia to improve the representation of Indigenous Australians. The statement asks Australians to walk together to build a better future by establishing a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution, and the establishment of a Makarrata Commission for the purpose of treaty making and truth-telling. Read the full statement here. 
  • Find out what the Voice to Parliament would do and how the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice might be set up. 
  • Yes23 is a campaign led by Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition. Read about ways to get involved; volunteering, staying up to date and informed, and writing to your local MP. 
  • The Parliamentary Library Briefing Book about the Indigenous Constitutional Recognition and Representation includes the history of constitutional recognition of the occupation of Australia, the Uluru Statement of the Heart, and Yarrabah Affirmation. It describes the responses to the Uluru Statement, outlines potential next steps, and discusses the constitutional and representative structures for Indigenous peoples in comparable countries (e.g. Maori seats in NZ parliament). 
  • A guide to the Uluru Statement with a list for further reading. Topics discussed include: First Nations Voice, Makarrata Commission and the Constitutional implications. 
  • A fact sheet outlining what a referendum is, what a plebiscite is, how they affect the constitution, and how they are passed.

The Doherty Institute has joined more than 125 health organisations in a published letter of support to the Australian Public for a Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament.