Aboriginal Voice

The Australian Catholic Bishops have encouraged ALL people to learn about the Aboriginal Voice and the referendum in their 2023 Social Justice Statement "Learn, Love and Live"

On Sunday September 3rd the Marist Family hosted Kerry O'Brien in conversation about the Aboriginal Voice and the referendum. Here is the audio available Marist Laity Australia has collected and created some resources below to help learn about the referendum including songs, prayers, debates, presentations and web sites to learn about the "Aboriginal Voice to Parliament".

Please share them with your learning community.

Thank you for your consideration,

Take care,

Marist Laity Australia

Listen, Love, Live - Aboriginal Voice - Social Justice Statement 2023

Bishop Vincent Long, during the launch of the social justice statement 'Listen, Love, Live' in August 2023, emphasized the importance of recognizing the contributions and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within the Church and the broader Australian community. He began by recalling Pope John Paul II's words from 1986, highlighting the significance of justice, respect for cultural diversity, and protection of the dignity and heritage of Indigenous Australians. Bishop Long stressed that despite several decades passing since those words were spoken, the need for non-Indigenous Australians, especially Australian Catholics, to joyfully receive the contributions of First Nations peoples remains relevant.

Is the nation ready for deep listening?

Is the nation ready for deep listening? Miriam Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM in conversation with Deakin University's Professor Mark Rose, Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Strategy and Innovation. A renowned Aboriginal artist and educator, Miriam Rose is dedicated to creating bright and fulfilling futures for Aboriginal children and youth. She was the first fully qualified Aboriginal teacher in the Northern Territory and continues to advocate that education is a matter for the whole community and must be adapted to suit contemporary Aboriginal needs.

Lessons - Voice to Parliament - Debate - Video - Newsletter

This lesson plan is designed to engage students in a comprehensive exploration of the 'Voice to Parliament' issue in Australia, allowing them to develop a well-rounded understanding of the topic, including arguments for and against it. The plan includes three options for students to choose from: creating a newsletter article, producing a professional video, or participating in a debate. Each option encourages research, critical thinking, and the presentation of unbiased information.

Lessons - Preparing for the Voice Referendum

The educational resource titled 'Preparing for the Referendum: An Introduction to the upcoming Referendum' by the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education provides valuable insights into the upcoming Australian Referendum, scheduled for October 14, 2023, which will focus on recognizing First Nations Australians in the Constitution through the establishment of a First Nations Voice to Parliament.

Prayer for the Voice to Parliament

This prayer seeks guidance and strength to embrace the Aboriginal voice in the journey of our nation. It calls for recognizing the Aboriginal story and Spirituality as integral to the wider Australian story, acknowledging their contributions and deep connection to the land. The prayer asks for the creation of spaces for local communities to have an Aboriginal voice committee, where their voices are heard and valued in decision-making processes. It emphasizes the importance of listening to Aboriginal people, understanding their struggles, and standing alongside them with empathy and compassion. The prayer advocates for giving Aboriginal people self-determination, empowering them to make choices that reflect their unique needs and aspirations. It highlights the significance of honoring Aboriginal culture and spirituality, appreciating the interconnectedness of all life and fostering respect for all cultures.

Song - Paul Kelly - From Little Things Big Things Grow

This song tells the story in August 1966, 200 Gurindji stockmen, domestic workers and their families initiated strike action at Wave Hill station in the Northern Territory.Negotiations with the station owners, the international food company Vestey Brothers, broke down, leading to a seven-year dispute.

An Explanation of the Aboriginal Voice to Parliament - Arrilla Indigenous Consulting

This YouClip video by 'Arrilla Indigenous Consulting' provides a comprehensive overview of the concept of the Voice to Parliament in Australia. The Voice is a proposed group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who aim to have input into how government programs work and make policies with Indigenous peoples rather than for them. Enshrining the Voice into the Constitution is seen as a practical action that would better protect its use and responsibilities to the government, while also recognizing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia's Constitution.

Web site - indigenousvoice.church

This web site provides a series of resources for Catholics to discern there way forward with the Aboriginal Voice to Parliament. It includes messages from key leaders, catholic social justice teachings, resources for teaching and FAQ questions and answers. Please have a look at these resources.

Marian Lecture - Frank Brennan - Dignity for All

In the 2022 Marian Lecture delivered by Father Frank Brennan, he began by highlighting the unique challenges faced by the younger generation in Australia today. He emphasized that they are the first generation since World War II that does not have the expectation of a materially better life than their parents. Young people are grappling with existential issues such as climate change, the aftermath of the pandemic, and global conflicts like the situation in Ukraine. Father Brennan called for a deeper consideration of human dignity, particularly in the context of these challenges.

Song - If now now

Paul Kelly's song 'If Not Now' carries a message of urgency and a call to action regarding the issue of the Aboriginal Voice to Parliament. In this song, Kelly conveys a sense of incompleteness, a feeling that something crucial is missing, both in the Australian society and in the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. The lyrics suggest that there's a historical burden, represented as a 'splinter in the mind' and a 'whisper in the heart.' This burden is the unfinished business of addressing historical injustices faced by Indigenous Australians, including dispossession, discrimination, and marginalization.

Group Activity - Rabbit Proof Fence

'Rabbit-Proof Fence' is a powerful and poignant true story set in Australia during the 1930s. It follows the journey of three young Aboriginal girls, Molly, Daisy, and Gracie, who are forcibly removed from their families by the Australian government as part of its policy to assimilate Indigenous children into white society. The girls are taken to a remote settlement, but determined to return home, they escape and embark on an incredible journey back to their families, using the vast rabbit-proof fence as their guide. The film highlights the resilience, strength, and indomitable spirit of these girls as they defy all odds and navigate the harsh landscape, facing numerous challenges and encounters along the way. Their story sheds light on the unjust treatment of Indigenous Australians and serves as a powerful testament to the unbreakable bond between mother and child and the enduring spirit of the Aboriginal people.

Uluru Statement from the Heart four years on

The Uluru Statement from the Heart was both historic and practical, laying out a way that the relationship between Indigenous Australia and the Commonwealth could be reset. Now the campaign for a Voice to Parliament is moving into a new phase, as chief political correspondent Laura Tingle reports.

Song - Took The Children Away

This story's right, this story's true. I would not tell lies to you. Like the promises they did not keep. And how they fenced us in like sheep.Said to us come take our hand. Sent us off to mission land.Taught us to read, to write and pray. Then they took the children away,Took the children away,The children away.Snatched from their mother's breastSaid this is for the bestTook them away.

Noel Pearson - Australia does not make sense without recognition

The assumption of the doctrine of terra nullius – that Australia was not owned and was open to British settlement without consideration of the native owners – together with the racism that replaced the Noble Savage of Cook’s Enlightenment with an increasingly vicious view of the natives aimed at both justifying and enabling frontier violence and dispossession mutating into the pseudo-scientific racism of the Darwinian nineteenth century and early twentieth – combined to form the terrible ideology of the denial of recognition. The Australian colonial project needed this denial and was underpinned by its vehemence until well after the frontiers fell silent.

Everything you need to know about the Aboriginal Voice - Yes or No

The Australian Voice is a proposed alteration to the Australian Constitution aims to recognize the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice. This initiative comes as a response to historical injustices and a desire to empower Indigenous communities with greater influence over decisions that directly impact their lives and well-being. The concept of an Indigenous voice is rooted in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which was born out of the 2017 Uluru National Constitutional Convention. During this gathering, Indigenous leaders across the country came together to address the longstanding issues faced by their communities and to chart a path towards greater self-determination and reconciliation.

Debate on the Voice to Parliament

This year Australia will hold a referendum on whether to change the constitution and ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ views are better represented in Parliament. Is the Voice about giving Indigenous Australians a right to express their views on policy through representatives elected by their communities? Or would the Voice provide cover for an activist government to legislate radical policy with no genuine democratic consent?On the affirmative side were Australia’s first Indigenous Senior Counsel, Anthony McAvoy, and constitutional lawyer Shireen Morris. Against the proposition were Northern Territory Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and head of CIS Indigenous Forum Nyunggai Warren Mundine.Referendum question: The question to be put to the Australian people at the 2023 referendum will be: “A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Do you approve this proposed alteration?”

Rachel Perkins discusses - the path to Indigenous recognition - in the constitution

Rachel Perkins, an Australian filmmaker, director, and activist, has been involved in advocating for Indigenous rights and reconciliation. While I don't have specific details on her discussions about the Aboriginal Voice to Parliament, truth-telling, agreement-making, and constitutional recognition, I can provide you with a general overview of the topics she may address based on her previous statements and activism.

Story - Bowraville Indigenous elders - reflect on the past and share thoughts - on the Voice

In a segment featured on the 7.30 TV program, Indigenous elders from Bowraville candidly reflect on their past experiences and share their perspectives on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament. The discussion provides insights into their personal histories, memories of historical events, and their opinions on the current push for Indigenous rights. The elders express a range of emotions and thoughts, highlighting the impact of past referendums and experiences of exclusion. Annie B balangari discusses the 1967 referendum on Indigenous rights, emphasizing the importance of being counted in the census. She remembers the negative impact of the question on Indigenous people and the subsequent widespread support for the 'yes' vote, but also acknowledges pockets of racial intolerance that surfaced.The elders delve into their memories of Bowraville, a town with a history of exclusion of Indigenous people from hospitals and schools. They reveal the pain associated with such experiences and discuss the ongoing challenges faced by their community.

The Voice to Parliament Handbook - All the detail you need

In this Square faculty event, Indigenous leader Thomas Mayo and journalist Kerry O'Brien discuss the 'Voice to Parliament' handbook they co-authored. The handbook aims to provide information about the Voice to Parliament concept and upcoming referendum in Australia. The event acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land and emphasizes the importance of this topic. Thomas Mayo explains that the handbook was created to inform and empower people, particularly those supporting the 'Yes' vote in the referendum, by providing facts and personal insights. They discuss the significance of the Voice to Parliament in addressing Indigenous representation and the need for a consistent Indigenous voice in government decision-making.

Kerry O’Brien - the Aboriginal Voice - A Conversation - Part 1 of 2

On Sunday September 3, 2023, the Marist Justice Peace and Integral Ecology Committee (JPIC) hosted the former ABC Journalist and presenter Kerry O’Brien. The gathering started with an acknowledgement of Country by sister Margaret Tisch, followed by a prayer led by Father Kevin Bates.Lay Marist Cathy Larkin led a discussion with Kerry O’Brien using Questions and Answers.

Song - Your the Voice - John Farmham

The official song for the Aboriginal Voice to Parliament. 'You're the Voice' themes of speaking out, making a difference, and working collaboratively for change can be seen as resonating with the broader goals of Indigenous Voice and recognition in Australia. Both the song and the movement encourage individuals and communities to find their voice and be heard on important issues

Can a Voice to Parliament improve Indigenous lives

In a discussion led by Carly Williams, the ABC's National Indigenous Correspondent, and joined by Fran Kelly, they explore the potential impact of the proposed Aboriginal Voice to Parliament on addressing issues related to youth crime, particularly among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in regional towns across Australia.

A Conversation with - Archbishop Mark - and Bishop Tim - About the Proposed - Voice to Parliament

Bishop Archbishop Mark and Bishop Tim discuss the importance of the referendum on 'The Voice' and the broader issue of reconciliation in Australia. Bishop Archbishop Mark emphasizes that the referendum is not just about the indigenous population but concerns all Australians. He believes that reconciliation is a critical issue that has been a longstanding problem since the beginning of European settlement in Australia. He sees the referendum as an opportunity to unlock the potential of both indigenous people and the nation as a whole through fundamental healing and reconciliation.

Unpacking the Australian Constitution

The ABC episode titled Unpacking the Australian Constitution delves into the history of the Australian Constitution, the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and personal perspectives on what it means to be Australian.

Please share - I support the Aboriginal Voice in our Parliament

The Prime Minister Anthony Albanese launched the proposal for the indigenous voice to parliament. The focus is of hope and humility. Years of broken promises, failures, and false starts demand nothing less. The prime minister outlines some of the detail for this reform. The draft question is Do you support an alteration to the constitution that establishes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice?

Song - I Am Australian in Yawuru Aboriginal language

Watch a very special performance of ‘I Am Australian’ by the students of Broome Primary School. The ABC would like to thank the Mabu Yawuru ngan-ga language team and Yawuru Traditional Owners of Broome for providing the translation of the song ‘I Am Australian’ and for assisting us in the making of this video. To find out more and share your ABC stories visit