First Nations Voice Oration: Rachel Perkins

Radical Centre Reform Lab at Macquarie University Law School


An unprecedented coalition of diverse peak religious organisations will gather tomorrow to call for bipartisan action to hold a referendum on a First Nations voice.

Representatives of the major religious organisations of Australia will join with highly acclaimed Australian filmmaker Rachel Perkins of the Arrernte and Kalkadoon Nations, at the Cutaway at Barangaroo in Sydney, as part of a live televised celebration of growing community consensus on this issue.

Held amidst the contemporary artwork of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, titled Rīvus, the event will include a musical performance by Indigenous artist, Eric Avery, and marks the first time such diverse faith groups have taken a united stand in support of a constitutionally guaranteed First Nations voice.

Their joint resolution calls for ‘bipartisan action’ to hold a referendum on a constitutionally guaranteed First Nations voice, endorsing the proposal as “necessary, right, and reasonable”. “There can be no more delay. Our country has waited too long for justice”, the statement declares.

The event marks five years since more than 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders gathered at Uluru to call for substantive recognition via a constitutionally enshrined voice in their own affairs. It is also 55 years since more than 90% of Australians voted ‘yes’ in a referendum to count Indigenous Australians as part of the voting population, on 27 May 1967.

In her keynote speech, Rachel Perkins, daughter of Aboriginal activist Charlie Perkins will call on all Australians and political leaders to rise to this moral challenge, to transcend ordinary tribal politics, and come together to create a fairer and more united Australia.

8.30am for 9am – 10.00am, Friday 27 May 2022

The Cutaway, Barangaroo

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