The Voice to Parliament Handbook, what an Indigenous voice means

21 June 2023

Australians will be participating in a referendum sometime in the next six months to decide whether a change should be made to the constitution, to create an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. Such a Voice would take the form of an independent body made up of Indigenous Australians.

Delegates of this body, who would not be elected members of parliament, would be tasked with advising the Australian government and parliament on matters pertaining to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Their input however would not be binding.

Changes to the Australian constitution are never simple or straightforward. The process, and discussion, involved in making amendments, can be confusing and unsettling. To better understand the purpose of the Voice, and what it means, Hardie Grant have published a book called The Voice to Parliament Handbook.

Written by Thomas Mayo, a Torres Strait Islander, and Uluṟu Statement advocate, and journalist Kerry O’Brien, with illustrations by cartoonist Cathy Wilcox, the handbook aims to answer some of the more commonly asked questions about an Indigenous Voice to the Australian parliament:

A handy tool for people inclined to support a ‘yes’ vote in the referendum, The Voice to Parliament Handbook reflects on this historic opportunity for genuine reconciliation, to right the wrongs and heal the ruptured soul of a nation. This guide offers simple explanations, useful anecdotes, historic analogies and visual representations, so you can share it among friends, family and community networks in the build-up to the referendum.


, , ,