The Australian Climate Movement Supports Writing Yes to the Voice

Australia is home to the oldest continuous culture on Earth. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been caring for Country for millennia. First Nations people are the first scientists and leaders in nature restoration, land management and climate solutions.

We stand together as leaders representing a movement of over two million Australians whose commitment to a healthy climate and thriving environment is rooted in the shared values of justice, equality and fairness.

Australians are being asked to vote in a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution and establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. We wholeheartedly support writing YES in this referendum.

By writing YES, we support a pathway for meaningful, transformative change. This referendum calls upon us to reflect upon our colonial history and envision a future where First Nations justice, truth-telling and Treaty help us move towards a brighter future, together.

We know what it takes to demand ambitious change and challenge entrenched systems. We lead movements that bravely challenge the status quo. The Australian climate movement has stood up to vested interest groups attempting to impede meaningful action on climate change in this country. These same political culture wars are now attempting to fuel racism and divide us.

Our support for writing YES is based on the fundamental principle that laws and policies are more effective when those who are affected by them have a voice. We firmly believe in demanding substantive change rather than mere symbolism, and we view this referendum as a step in the right direction.

History has shown us that previous representative bodies for First Nations peoples have been dismantled by the government of the day at will. By writing YES in the referendum, Australians everywhere can establish a permanent representative body that boldly advocates for the needs and aspirations of First Nations people.

Recognising and respecting the knowledge, cultures, stories, and languages of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will help us move forward from our past and progress together towards a brighter future.