Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice
In 2023, Australians will have their say in a referendum on whether to update the Constitution to include an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament.
The Voice will be an independent, representative advisory body for First Nations people. It will provide a permanent means to advise the Australian Parliament and Government on the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on matters that affect them.
A set of principles that describe how the Voice will work were agreed to by the First Nations Referendum Working Group.
The Voice is a body that will:
- provide independent advice to Parliament and Government
- be chosen by First Nations people based on the wishes of local communities
- be representative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
- be empowering, community led, inclusive, respectful, culturally informed and gender balanced, and includes youth
- be accountable and transparent
- work alongside existing organisations and traditional structures.
The Voice will not have a program delivery function, or a veto power.
The structure and role of the Voice would be decided by Parliament through legislation, with members to be chosen by First Nations people.
The referendum is part of the Government's commitment to implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full.
Read more about the Voice to Parliament and referendum.