8 September 2023
For more than 100 years, First Nations Peoples have been calling for a voice in decision-making processes that affect them.
Inclusion and representation for all Australians is at the heart of People with Disability Australia’s (PWDA) work. PWDA fundamentally believes that those who are impacted by laws, policies and services should have a role in informing them, and we therefore support First Nations communities, including our colleagues at the First People’s Disability Network (FPDN), in calling for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in the Australian Constitution. As outlined in the ‘Have Your Say’ campaign, ‘The Referendum is about finally giving voice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Australian Constitution.’ PWDA also welcomes the inclusion of a permanent Disability Advisory Group within the Voice to advise on how proposed laws and policies would impact on First Nations people with disability.
We support a ‘yes’ vote in the forthcoming Referendum because we believe the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament will provide a mechanism for First Nations Peoples to work in genuine partnership with governments. We believe a Voice to Parliament is an invitation to set an example of lasting change – one that will improve the outcomes for First Nations Peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.
In keeping with our commitment to encourage, support and empower the civic participation of people with disability, PWDA encourages everyone to seek the information they need to form their own views on the referendum and make an informed decision on how they will vote.
Statement approved by PWDA Board on 6 September 2023
People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWDA) is a national disability rights and advocacy, non-profit, non-government organisation. We have a cross-disability focus, representing the interests of people with all kinds of disability and our membership is made up of people with disability and organisations mainly constituted by people with disability.