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HomeIssue 8Parliamentary committee endorses a First Nations Voice

Parliamentary committee endorses a First Nations Voice

p2584 Uluru sunset SMIn its final report to the Australian Parliament, the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples has endorsed the central proposal made in the Uluru Statement from the Heart a First Nations Voice.


The committee was established in March to consider matters relating to constitutional change, including the recommendations of the Expert Panel, the previous Joint Select Committee, the Statement from the Heart, and the Referendum Council.


At the outset, the Committee understood and acknowledged that the Statement from the Heart was a significant turning point in the discussion about the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


As such, the Committee focussed its efforts on the central proposal for constitutional change made in the Statement from the Heart—the proposal for a First Nations Voice.


The Committee has also been mindful of the need to ensure that its recommendations are legitimate and acceptable to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the Parliament, and, ultimately, the Australian people.


In its interim report, the Committee considered the proposal for a Voice in detail, and since July the Committee continued to seek the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and others about how best to achieve constitutional recognition.


In its final report, the Committee endorses the proposal for a Voice. The Committee recommends a process of co-design between government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to determine the detail of the Voice, to conclude within the term of the 46th Parliament.


The Committee further recommends that the appropriate legal form of the Voice be determined following this process of co-design.


The Committee considers that these recommendations are significant steps for the Parliament to discuss and consider, and significant steps towards a bipartisan and agreed approach to advancing the cause of constitutional recognition.


The Committee also makes recommendations in relation to truth-telling about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, traditions, and culture. The Committee hopes that a fuller understanding of Australia’s history will lead to a more reconciled nation.


The Committee acknowledges and thanks everyone who participated in the inquiry, including those who made written submissions and gave evidence at public hearings around Australia.


The final report is available on the Committee’s website at:



Voice to Parliament: Scandinavia can do it, why not Australia?



  1. Isn’t constitutional recognition a double edged sword?
    If they get it the government can’t make specific laws which are aimed at helping the “disadvantaged” people, in other words they would be treated the same as everyone else, and not then receive anymore special treatment funding.

  2. Obviously Neville Bonner, Ken Wyatt, Linda Burney, Nova Peris and Malarndirri McCarthy, the chap with the hat aren’t / weren’t First Nations Voices – who’d a thunk it? [Who would have thought of that …]

  3. Determining the “disadvantage” of people, acting to reduce the disadvantage does not require a racial test.
    The Northern Territory long been a victim of Commonwealth racism, indeed where Commonwealth racial divides make racism in the NT appear normal.
    Racism a major activist in history. That history demands our vigilance to prevent repeating damage previously done by racist activist politicians.
    Patrick Dodson is yet another activist campaigning to support imposition of racism upon Australians.
    Patrick Dodson supports programs which maintain inequality in large areas of Australia.
    Patrick Dodson supports programs which determine rights and responsibilities using racial identification in large areas of Australia.
    Patrick Dodson supports the segregation of Australians using racial identification, including the racial segregation of Australian families.
    Central to all this, and this campaign, is racism, the identification and treatment of Australians differently using racial identification as the measure.
    Patrick Dodson is just one member of an activist group in the Commonwealth and other Parliaments who are promoting racism, to divide Australians.
    Commonwealth racism imposes qualification of Australian’s equality of legal rights, equality of legal responsibilities and equality of opportunity.
    Almost all racists do this to benefit themselves.
    Australians rejected racism at Federation.
    Australians rejected racism in 1967.
    Patrick Dodson with others are promoting racism, promoting treatment of Australians differently using racial identification as their measure.
    Is a disappointment that activists who promote racism receive more attention and support than those opposing it.
    Politicians show ongoing efforts to divide their electorates into “manageable segments”, each “segment” easily tempted to follow path of division by promises of “special benefits”.
    We need to obstruct those racist activists seeking to racially divide us.
    History, of the NT and wider, clearly shows accepting racism is pathway to inequality, then to worse, with huge costs born communities and world.
    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
    Australians all need actively defend our equal rights, our equal responsibility, our equal accountability if we all are to have equality of opportunity.
    Equality of opportunity does not produce equality of results.
    Lest We Forget!

  4. A shame that PM Turnbull provided such a incredibly lacklustre response to the Uluru Statement from the Heart in 2017.
    A decent thought-provoking response from Turnbull at that time would have made the current ideological crisis tearing apart the LNP much more interesting to follow.


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