Cairnmillar’s Official Statement for Supporting a First Nations Voice to Parliament
Content warning: the following message makes reference to Reconciliation Week and harm towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. If Reconciliation Week raises any concerns for you, you can reach out to the Employee and Student Assistance Program by calling 1300 830 687.
“Cairnmillar is founded on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri Peoples of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders, past and present, and acknowledge their deep, enduring connection to land, waters, and community. We acknowledge the richness and value of their accumulated cultural knowledge spanning vast expanses of time. We extend this respect to all Indigenous Peoples of this continent and all adjacent lands, and to any First Nations people who come across the below material.”
“The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2023, Be a Voice for Generations, encourages all Australians to be a voice for reconciliation in tangible ways in our everyday lives – where we live, work and socialise. For the work of generations past, and the benefit of generations future, let’s choose to create a more just, equitable and reconciled country for all.”1
Cairnmillar echoes this sentiment and would like to remind staff and students alike that our purpose as an Institute is ultimately to enhance the wellbeing of our local and global communities. To do so requires we (as individuals and as an Institute) show a sincere willingness to listen and learn from each other to create a transcendent wisdom for generations to come. In Australia, we are particularly fortunate to have the opportunity to embark on such a journey by embracing the oldest continuing living cultures on the planet.
Firstly, Cairnmillar formally acknowledges and wholeheartedly supports the Uluru Statement From the Heart , with particular emphasis on the following:
“Makarrata is the culmination of our agenda: the coming together after a struggle. It captures our aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia and a better future for our children based on justice and self-determination.”2
Cairnmillar will strive to do its part to obtain Makaratta through an improved curriculum, better informed students, and ultimately culturally responsive service delivery.
Cairnmillar fully supports a key proposal from this statement: A constitutionally enshrined Indigenous Voice to Federal Parliament. A referendum to decide this issue will take place in October, 2023. Whilst we acknowledge the diversity of views on this issue amongst the wider community, as well as within Indigenous communities, our position is that Australia should have a constitutionally enshrined Voice, by which Indigenous Australians can provide direct and effective input on issues which may best benefit them, and ultimately, all Australians. In short, reconciliation may be substantially enhanced via the Voice.
1 Taken from Reconciliation Australia
2 Taken from the Uluru Statement From the Heart