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UnitingWorld supports YES!

UnitingWorld joins the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) and the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC) in expressing strong support for a First Nations Voice to Parliament.

As an agency of the of the UCA, UnitingWorld shares our church’s commitment to walk together with First Nations people in seeking justice and a greater say in decisions that impact their communities.

Inspired by this commitment, we support a constitutionally enshrined Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament, and believe the referendum is a significant opportunity to honour Australia’s First Peoples and to work in solidarity for a better future.

“Our church heard the message from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders through the Uluru Statement from the Heart, seeking Voice, Treaty and Truth, and it was an incredibly generous invitation to our nation,” said UnitingWorld National Director Dr Sureka Goringe.

“Our response to their generosity is to affirm our support and solidarity.”

“UnitingWorld’s approach to development is driven by the principle that lasting social change can only come when people are free and empowered to determine their own futures. A Voice to Parliament could be a powerful step to end the severe disadvantage experienced by the First Peoples of Australia,” said Dr Goringe.

UnitingWorld also acknowledges and commends the recent statement made by Pasifika church leaders through the Pacific Conference of Churches, many of whose members are the UCA’s partner churches:

In solidarity with our Aboriginal and Torres Straits sisters and brothers, we urge our Pacific Diaspora in Australia to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart and to vote in favour of enshrining a Voice to Parliament for First Peoples of the land now called Australia. (Part of the Kōñe Jubar Statement, May 2023)

UnitingWorld echoes the statements of senior Uniting Church leaders, UCA President Rev Sharon Hollis and UAICC Interim National Chair Rev Mark Kickett.

“This is an historic opportunity for Australia to acknowledge and honour First Nations people and their deep spiritual ties to this land and to walk together as a nation toward a better future,” said Rev Hollis.

“As Second Peoples and as Christians in this land, we are called to confront the oppression, dispossession and racism faced by First Nations people.”

“Now is the time for us to hear the call of God to seek justice by doing what is right for our nation,” said Rev Kickett.

“Like Jesus, we are called to be bearers of justice, not just in our words, but in our actions and by changing systems which continue to deny the place and rights of the first Australians.”

Rev Hollis and Rev Kickett encourage Uniting Church people and communities to inform themselves about the Uluru Statement and what it asks of our nation, and to create respectful spaces for yarning about the impact a First Nations Voice will make.

The Uniting Church in Australia Assembly has collected a range of resources here: https://uniting.church/voice/

UnitingWorld National Director Sureka Goringe appears in this video from
Uniting Church NSW & ACT saying YES to the Voice.