With the date of the Referendum now set (14 October), our office would like to share the following statement from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC), who reiterate their support for the referendum in the 2023-2024 Social Justice Statement, and call for Australia’s Catholic community to support the Yes Campaign:
“Australians have an opportunity to begin a new chapter this year with the referendum on the Voice to Parliament. We in NATSICC know there are criticisms, even from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, but most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people support the referendum.
Just as the churches strongly supported the 1967 referendum, we hope that Catholics, along with other people of faith, will support the Yes campaign.
It is a commitment to recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the constitution and promoting healing and unity. It will be the next step in a process of empowering us to participate in the decisions that will make a difference for the better for our people.
We, NATSICC, feel that the referendum is too important to fail. The consequences for our people and the whole nation would be devastating.”
Australia’s Bishops have called upon us all to listen to the voices of First Nations peoples, and to make an informed decision at this referendum. The One Journey, Together website by NATSICC, Caritas and Catholic Social Services Victoria was created to facilitate this listening process, and features the voices of First Australian Catholics and Catholic Leaders.”
We encourage you to explore the resources and information on the special NATSICC website.
In all our conversations and reflections on the choice we make in less than six weeks, please think carefully about what a failure to pass the referendum will mean for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and for the whole country.