Voice to Parliament
Our response to the referendum result
Community Legal Centres Australia stands in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, within and outside the community legal sector movement, now and going forward. We thank the many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have worked tirelessly in the lead up to the weekend’s referendum for their leadership and courage.
Despite this weekend’s disappointing outcome, we stand firmly with the struggle for justice for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across this continent. We reaffirm our commitment to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led movements for justice and safety, including the ongoing work towards Treaty and Truth.
We know that the lead up to this referendum has been difficult for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and that the debate itself has caused harm that will take time to heal. We hope that everyone affected can take the time needed to care for self, family and community over the coming weeks. If you are looking for culturally safe support can reach out to 13 YARN to yarn with a Lifeline trained, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Crisis Supporter at any time of the day or night. You can find more self- and community-care resources below.
To non-Aboriginal people, we encourage you to prioritise care for your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander friends, colleagues, and community members now and in weeks and months to come. We also recognise many of you have also been campaigning around this referendum over recent weeks and months. In this time of disappointment and reflection, we encourage you to continue to stand with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to take action in support of their ongoing struggles for justice.
Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers
We encourage all community legal services in our membership network to consider offering additional supports to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers over the coming weeks. This could include:
- Additional paid cultural leave.
- External culturally appropriate supervision.
- Safe/autonomous spaces for debriefing and discussion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers.
Cultural safety and wellbeing resources and services
13YARN for Indigenous Australians — crisis support line for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people going through a tough time.