The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) expresses our support for a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous Voice to Parliament. We acknowledge that the Indigenous Voice represents a significant stride towards empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in addressing the deep-seated inequities prevalent in numerous social, economic and health indicators. By working in tandem with truth-telling, a robust First Nations Voice will serve as the bedrock for the journey towards reconciliation. This journey may encompass treaties, sovereignty, and various opportunities that the First Nations Voice can explore and advocate for.
In 2017, the Council endorsed the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which has a Voice to Parliament as a fundamental tenet. The broader Catholic Church followed that lead by endorsing the Uluru Statement during the historic Fifth Plenary Council of Australia held in 2022.
As people of faith, we firmly believe in the inherent dignity and worth of every individual. A constitutionally enshrined Indigenous Voice supports and promotes this belief by providing a platform for consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples on a local level.
NATSICC upholds the principle of subsidiarity, in line with Catholic Social Teaching, as a fundamental framework for developing policies and constitutional reforms that benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. In this regard, the Voice serves as a mechanism that can bridge the gap between intentions and implementation, aligning with the principles of social justice and human dignity.
To read the full NATSICC statement click here