2091

Submissions: Your Feedback

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Submission Number
2091
Participant
Volunteering Australia
Submission date
Main Submission Automated Transcript

Submission to the Indigenous Voice consultation
March 2021
Submission to Indigenous Voice consultation

Overview
Volunteering Australia and the State and Territory peak volunteering bodies share a common goal of
volunteering being inclusive of all members of the Australian community. We are currently working
with the Australian Government in the redesign of the Volunteer Management Activity which
includes a focus on working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to empower their
further participation in volunteering in Australia.

We welcome the co-design process to develop an Indigenous Voice and support the advancement of
measures that can raise the voices of First Nations people in public policy development and
enactment, including in relation to volunteering policy and practice.

We highlight that the proposals need to be seen in the context of the Uluru Statement from the
Heart which calls for a Voice enshrined in the Australian Constitution. The Australian Government
needs to honour its election commitment to a referendum on constitutional recognition.

Introduction
About the Indigenous Voice process
On 30 October 2019, the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP,
announced the start of the Indigenous Voice co-design process.

Stage one of the co-design process saw three Indigenous Voice co-design groups, comprising 52
members from around the country, work together to develop the detail of what an Indigenous Voice
could look like and how it could work. Stage one is now complete, and the proposals were presented
to the Australian Government in late-October 20201.

Stage two is now underway. Individuals, communities and organisations are invited to provide
feedback on how they think the proposals for Local and Regional Voices and a National Voice could
work for them. This input is designed to help the Indigenous Voice co-design groups further develop
and refine the proposals. Final recommendations will then be made to the Australian Government.

About this submission
We welcome the opportunity to provide a submission to the consultation on the Indigenous Voice
proposals.

This submission was drafted by Volunteering Australia in collaboration with the State and Territory
peak volunteering bodies.

1
Available here https://voice.niaa.gov.au/resources

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Submission to Indigenous Voice consultation

Our contribution
As National and State and Territory peak volunteering bodies, we share an ambition for volunteering
to be inclusive of all members of the Australian community. Being First Nations people, Indigenous
Australians are at the very heart of our society.

The proposals for an Indigenous Voice are aimed at providing a way for Indigenous Australians to
provide advice and input on matters that are important to improve their lives. This includes an array
of public policy concerns of which volunteering policy is one. Volunteering, whether through an
organisation or informally in community, can support individual wellbeing and enhance community
resilience.

Research2 has shown that First Nations People can see volunteering differently to non-Indigenous
people. Volunteering is often more fluid, local and responsive to community needs, rather than
structured, targeted and regular. First Nations People can face structural disadvantages that impact
their ability to participate in ‘formal volunteering’ (volunteering through an organisation) and
mainstream volunteering programs are typically not tailored for First Nations People.

Volunteering Australia and the State and Territory peak volunteering bodies are seeking to redress
these barriers to volunteering through our policy and advocacy work and through working with
volunteer involving organisation to support the adoption of volunteering practices that are culturally
aware and safe for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

In the current redesign of the Volunteer Management Activity 3, we are working with the Australian
Government to build the capacity of volunteer involving organisations to break down barriers for
‘priority groups’, which includes First Nations People.

We support the advancement of measures that can raise the voices of First Nations people in public
policy development and enactment. Overall, we support the co-design process and the proposals
that have been developed by the co-design groups. We would like to make the following points:

• The Indigenous Voice proposals need to be seen in the context of the Uluru Statement from
the Heart which calls for a Voice enshrined in the Australian Constitution.
• The Australian Government needs to honour its election commitment to a referendum on
constitutional recognition once a model for the Voice has been agreed.
• Legislation to enable the Voice would then be passed after a referendum has been held in
the next term of Parliament.

2
https://www.communitybusinesspartnership.gov.au/wp-
content/uploads/2016/09/giving_and_volunteering_in_cald_and_indigenous_communities.pdf
3
https://www.dss.gov.au/communities-and-vulnerable-people-programs-servi…-
management/volunteer-management-activity-summary

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Submission to Indigenous Voice consultation

Authorisation
This submission has been authorised by the Chief Executive Officer of Volunteering Australia.

Mr Mark Pearce
Chief Executive Officer

Endorsements
This position statement has been endorsed by the seven State and Territory volunteering peak
bodies.

About Volunteering Australia
Volunteering Australia is the national peak body for volunteering, working to advance volunteering in the
Australian community. The seven State and Territory volunteering peak bodies work to advance and
promote volunteering in their respective jurisdictions and are Foundation Members of Volunteering
Australia.

Volunteering Australia’s vision is strong, connected communities through volunteering. Our mission is to
lead, strengthen, promote and celebrate volunteering in Australia.

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Submission to Indigenous Voice consultation

Volunteering Australia Contacts
Mark Pearce Sue Regan
Chief Executive Officer Policy Director
ceo@volunteeringaustralia.org policy@volunteeringaustralia.org
0428 186 736 0480 258 723

State and Territory Volunteering Peak Bodies
Volunteering ACT Volunteering SA&NT
www.volunteeringact.org.au www.volunteeringsa-nt.org.au
02 6251 4060 08 8221 7177
info@volunteeringact.org.au reception@volunteeringsa-nt.org.au

The Centre for Volunteering (NSW) Volunteering Victoria
www.volunteering.com.au www.volunteeringvictoria.org.au
02 9261 3600 03 8327 8500
info@volunteering.com.au info@volunteeringvictoria.org.au

Volunteering Queensland Volunteering WA
www.volunteeringqld.org.au www.volunteeringwa.org.au
07 3002 7600 08 9482 4333
reception@volunteeringqld.org.au info@volunteeringwa.org.au

Volunteering Tasmania
www.volunteeringtas.org.au
03 6231 5550
admin@volunteeringtas.org.au

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