The Executive Committee of Deakin University’s Institute for Health Transformation, along with the University Executive and Council, supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart and recognises this as a vital component in building the future of our nation. Inherent in this statement is the understanding that constitutional reform will be required to enshrine a First Nations Voice. We support the University Executive and Council’s belief that supporting a Yes position in the referendum for the Voice to Parliament is an extension of our support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and we encourage all members of the Deakin community to fully participate in the process.

We recognise that not everyone in our community will adopt the same position. We respect this and encourage everyone to engage in the debate and discussions with the care and respect this issue deserves. The Uluru Statement from the Heart website is useful for further information on the Statement from the Heart and the Voice referendum.

The Voice Referendum is a nation-defining moment. The chance to change the Constitution is among the most serious things that can be asked of the people of our country. It is vital that everyone in our community who is eligible to vote considers the weight and importance of the question fully and informs themselves of the history and issues that sit behind the referendum.

As an Institute focused on enhancing health and wellbeing for all Australians, we recognise the strong evidence base connecting self-determination and health outcomes. We recognise the significant inequities in health that exist due to ongoing impacts of colonisation and systemic racism. And we recognise the trauma that is being delivered through the lead up to the referendum and that it is at risk of increasing in its aftermath.

We hope to see a ‘Yes’ outcome for the Voice referendum. Regardless of the outcome, we commit to our role in building a more equitable country and to continuing to stand as allies, where relevant, through our full engagement with the referendum and in allyship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples after it is over.