The Carers Australia Board has voted to support the ‘Yes’ campaign for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians through a Voice to Parliament.
The Voice to Parliament represents a major step towards reconciliation between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is part of implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which calls for “Australians to walk together to build a better future by establishing a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution, and the establishment of a Makarrata Commission for the purpose of treaty making and truth-telling.”
At Carers Australia, we recognise the ongoing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to this land, as the oldest continuous culture on Earth. We believe our support for the implementation of the Uluru Statement, which was informed by a lengthy process in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and Elders across Australia, is one way we can walk with First Nations peoples towards reconciliation.
We respect everyone’s right to make their own informed choice on this matter. However, we feel it is important, as the peak body for Australia’s 2.65 million carers (including a disproportionately higher rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers), that we take a stance that will improve outcomes for those we represent.
About Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers
- 12.4% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population are carers, compared to 10.5% of the non-Indigenous Australian population.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers experience unique challenges that result in them being at significantly higher risk of poor wellbeing and health, according to the Carers Australia 2022 Carer Wellbeing Survey. They also report higher requirements for assistance in their roles as carers, but more limited access to support services.
Recommendations for carers
We urge carers to get (and stay) informed about the Voice to Parliament in the lead up to the referendum.
We particularly urge carers to take this opportunity to seek the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples regarding the referendum, to walk with them and understand what a Voice to Parliament would mean for them.
As carers are under-represented on electoral rolls, we urge all carers to make sure they enrol to vote.