2725

Submissions: Your Feedback

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Submission Number
2725
Participant
Anglican Church Southern Queensland
Submission date
Main Submission Automated Transcript

ANGLICAN The Archbishop of Brisbane
CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA The Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall

29 April 2021

Voice Secretariat
C/- Professor Dr Marcia Langton AO and
Professor Tom Calma AO
Co-chairs, Senior Advisory Group
Reply Paid 83380
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Dear Professors

Re: Submission to the Indigenous Voice Co-design Process

The Anglican Church Southern Queensland is a Diocese of the Anglican Church of Australia, stretching
from Bundaberg in the north to Coolangatta in the south and west to the South Australian and Northern
Territory borders. Our Diocesan community includes more than 130 parishes; 20 schools; Anglicare
Southern Queensland; St Francis Theological College; and, various other ministries.

We are blessed with large numbers of culturally distinct First Nations peoples in our Diocesan community,
including people from various Aboriginal Countries across the geographical regions of South East
Queensland, Darling Downs South West and Wide Bay-Burnett, as well as people from other Aboriginal
Countries across Australia and from the Torres Strait Islands.

Inspired by the Uluru Statement From the Heart, the Anglican Church Southern Queensland
wholeheartedly supports the call for a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Australian Constitution.

The Anglican Church Southern Queensland believes in a ‘fair go’, which is a value shared across our
nation’s wider communities and is reflected in the broad support for this call. The Anglican Church
Southern Queensland believes that constitutionally enshrining a First Nations Voice will be a significant
step forward in enshrining long overdue fairness. It is only fair that our First Nations peoples have a
genuinely independent and genuinely representative body that sits alongside Federal Parliament and
Government to advise on legislation and policy that impact their communities now and into the future.
Ensuring this constitutional guarantee will help provide our First Nations leaders and their communities
with stability and longevity, particularly across election cycles and changes of Government.

The Anglican Church Southern Queensland seeks to uphold the value of meaningful change. In this
context, we believe that a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution will support the rights of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to make decisions at a local level and to have the autonomy
to meet their social, cultural and economic needs. First Nations communities have a right to be able to
effectively and efficiently influence the laws and policies that will impact their capacity to keep community
life going. Through our national Church’s Synodical resolutions, we have long upheld this right, including
in 2017 when General Synod resolved to “support the recommendation of the Referendum Council for a
constitutionally-entrenched First Nations’ Voice to the Commonwealth Parliament.”

…/2

St. Martin’s House, 373 Ann Street, (GPO Box 421, Brisbane, 4001) Ph: (07) 3835 2222 Fax: (07) 3832 5030
Email: archbishop@anglicanchurchsq.org.au
Page 2.

The Anglican Church Southern Queensland seeks to uphold the values of peace and reconciliation, as
expressed in the fourth Anglican Communion Mark of Mission. Reconciliation is about strengthening and
healing relationships with First Nations peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the common good of all
Australians. In order for us to be sincere in our commitment to reconciliation, the Anglican Church
Southern Queensland stands with our First Nations peoples to seek relationships built on mutual trust,
equality, institutional integrity, unity and historical acceptance, as outlined by Reconciliation Australia. As
such, we see enshrining a First Nations Voice as a significant unifying opportunity in the reconciliation
journey.

The Anglican Church Southern Queensland also seeks to uphold the value of integrity and thus calls upon
the Federal Government to honour its election commitment to a referendum once a model for the Voice
has been agreed to. We believe that this model must reflect diverse First Nations voices, and that
membership of the representative body should be open to new and previously unheard Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander leaders. We also believe that legislation for the Voice must only be passed after a
referendum has been held in the next term of Parliament.

Yours sincerely

The Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall
Archbishop of Brisbane