In 2023, Australians will have their say in a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution through an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
The Prime Minister the Hon Anthony Albanese MP committed to this in his election night speech on 21 May 2022, when he said the Government would implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full.
At the Garma Festival on 30 July 2022, the Prime Minister announced a draft referendum question and draft words to be added to the Constitution. The draft question and draft amendment are the basis for discussion ahead of the referendum.
On 17 August 2022, a meeting of Indigenous affairs ministers from all states and territories and the Commonwealth agreed to support the Government’s work for a Voice to Parliament.
On 29 September 2022, Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Linda Burney MP announced two First Nations referendum advisory groups working with the Government. These are the:
A third group, the Constitutional Expert Group, is providing legal support to the Referendum Working Group on the draft constitutional amendment and other issues relating to the referendum.
These three groups are meeting regularly and reporting the outcomes of their discussions.
The National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) is leading preparation for the referendum through First Nations engagement, coordination across the Australian Public Service and supporting government processes.
You can contact the NIAA by emailing: Referendum@niaa.gov.au