Voice. Treaty. Truth.
Voice, Treaty, Truth are reflected throughout our work, policies and advocacy. Oxfam acts as a broker and a facilitator. Rather than speak on behalf of First Peoples, we seek to amplify Indigenous voices on issues that are most important to First Peoples. Oxfam has advocated for a Treaty process in submissions to government inquiries since 2000.
We fully support the call by the Uluru Statement from the Heart for a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations, and truth-telling about Australian history. Voice is another way of describing representation, and we believe this is vitally important for Indigenous peoples after centuries of dispossession and marginalisation.
Representation is an essential first step towards reconciliation. While there are some forms of representative bodies in Australia, such as the land councils, First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria and the Torres Strait Regional Authority, the totality of Indigenous representation remains fragmented. This is why we support a Constitutional amendment to enshrine a First Nations Voice is an essential part of recognition, representation and reconciliation. Further, this referendum should support an amendment to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as Australia’s First Peoples, thus marking a first step towards recognition of past wrongs and truth-telling about Australia’s history.
- Read the Interim and Final reports of the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition Relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 2018
- And Oxfam’s submission here: Submission to Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
- Constitutional reform: Creating a nation for all of us (Australian Human Rights Commission)