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Statement in support of the Voice to Parliament

Statement in support of the Voice to Parliament

Board and Executive statement supporting a YES Vote for Constitutional Recognition.

On Saturday 14 October 2023, Australians will participate in a national referendum that will determine whether the Constitution of Australia should include an Indigenous Voice to the Australian parliament and government.

As part of our ongoing commitment to reconciliation and dedication to closing the gap in health, life expectancy, and other outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Sonder’s Board of Directors and Executive Management Team endorses the establishment of a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

Whilst we acknowledge that a constitutional enshrinement alone will not rectify the injustices experienced by First Nations people throughout history and today, we believe this is an important step in the journey towards reconciliation, better health outcomes for Indigenous people, and becoming a more inclusive and equitable nation.

As an organisation, we recognise the important role of self-determination in closing the gap and its impact on health, social and emotional wellbeing. As expressed in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, a constitutionally enshrined body will empower Indigenous representatives to voice a viewpoint that takes into account First Nations people’s perspectives, needs, concerns, and aspirations.

We believe that the Indigenous Voice to Parliament will provide a solid foundation for reconciliation by acknowledging the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture to this country. This constitutional recognition ensures continuity and certainty for all Australians.

Guided by our Reconciliation Action Plan, Sonder continues to take steps to ensure First Nations voices and practices are included and empowered in our service provision, workplace culture, and partnerships.

We acknowledge that there are diverse views within our communities about the proposed constitutional change and emphasise the importance of engaging in informed and respectful conversations.

Sonder encourages our community members, staff, volunteers, and broader stakeholders to seek the information they need to form their own views on the referendum and make an informed decision on how they will vote.

Regardless of the referendum outcome later this year, Sonder remains committed to standing alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and working towards a more inclusive and equitable community.