Communique for the Referendum Engagement Group - 17 March 2023


The Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Attorney General, and the Special Envoy for Reconciliation and the Implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart met with the Referendum Engagement Group.

The fourth meeting of the Referendum Engagement Group was held in Adelaide, on the lands of the Kaurna people.

The Referendum Engagement Group acknowledged the progress towards a referendum to establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in the Constitution, to give First Nations people a say on the matters that affect them.

AFL Legend and 2014 Australian of the Year Adam Goodes spoke with members of the Referendum Engagement Group about the importance of recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in our Constitution and the opportunities that a Voice to parliament provides for young Indigenous Australians to have their voices heard. 

The Hon Kyam Maher MLC, Attorney-General of South Australia and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, provided an update on the South Australian First Nations Voice to parliament, highlighting opportunities for remote and regional communities to have their voices heard. There will be a special sitting of the SA parliament on Sunday 26 March to pass the SA Voice legislation.

The Referendum Engagement Group received an update on the Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Amendment Bill 2022, which is scheduled to be debated in the Senate on Monday.

The Referendum Engagement Group also received an update on the Government’s plans for providing information to all Australians about the referendum.

The Australian Electoral Commissioner presented on the work the AEC is doing to increase electoral participation and its future work to increase awareness of the referendum process, highlighting a recent regulatory change that allows people to use medicare cards for identification to enrol to vote.

Campaign organisations updated the Referendum Engagement Group on their preparations. The Referendum Engagement Group noted the progress in driving public engagement and reflected on the success of the Week of Action from 18 February to 24 February.

The Group will meet again later this month, to continue to discuss ways to further engage the community, including First Nations communities, on the referendum and the proposal to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Constitution. 



We acknowledge the Traditional Owners and custodians of country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to the people, the cultures and the Elders past, present and emerging.