Communique for the Referendum Working Group - 16 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 Working Group in Adelaide.

Adelaide was the city where the 1967 ‘Yes’ campaign was launched, and working group members reflected on the importance of the 1967 referendum campaign as a model for national unity ahead of the 2023 referendum.

The Working Group met with the Acting Premier of South Australia, Susan Close and the SA Attorney General and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Kyam Maher, to discuss the progress towards a First Nations Voice to South Australian Parliament. The Working Group was excited to hear the progress and supports South Australia’s movement to ensure that voices in remote and regional communities are heard.

The Working Group received an update on the Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Amendment Bill 2022, which will be further considered by the Senate next week. 

The Working Group continued its discussion on the wording of the proposed amendments to the Constitution to include an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament and progressed the wording of the question on the ballot paper.

The Government will introduce the Constitution Alteration Bill to Parliament in the final sitting week of March. The bill will define the question Australians will be asked at the referendum and contain the proposed amendment to the Constitution.  

This will be followed by a comprehensive parliamentary inquiry. This process will provide Australians, including First Nations people, with the chance to make formal submissions on the proposed constitutional amendments and the question to be put to the Australian people.



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.