Communique for the Referendum Engagement Group - December 2022


On Tuesday, 13 December 2022, the Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Attorney General, the Special Envoy for Reconciliation and the Implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and the Assistant Minister for Indigenous Australians met with the Referendum Engagement Group (the Group) for the second time.

The Group discussed the significant progress made by the Government towards holding a referendum on an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in the second half of 2023. 

The Group noted the progress made in the discussions of the Working Group and Constitutional Expert Group across seven meetings and the $75.1 million committed by the Government in the October 2022 Budget to prepare for the referendum.

The Group also noted the progress towards modernising the referendum process with the introduction of the Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Amendment Bill 2022 to Parliament.

The Australian Electoral Commissioner, Mr Tom Rogers, presented to the group on the Indigenous Electoral Participation Program and the progress being made on reducing the disparity between the rates of enrolment among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the broader community.

The Group also received a presentation from the Uluru Dialogues, From the Heart and Uphold and Recognise on how those organisations are engaging the Australian community on the referendum and the proposal for a Voice.

The Group considered ways that they could work together to maximise the reach of their engagement activities, particularly with First Nations people and communities.

Members are unified and deeply committed to work together on this once-in-a-generation opportunity to unite Australia.

The Group endorsed a national week of action to build support for a successful referendum.

The next meeting will be held early in 2023.



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.