What is the Voice to Parliament?

Belinda Murdoch Head of Indigenous Affairs
2 min read

In Australia, National Reconciliation Week is observed every year from 27 May to 3 June.  


These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey — the first being the successful 1967 referendum, which changed the Australian constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as part of the Australian population; and the second being the anniversary of the High Court Mabo decision in 1992, which held that native title existed for all Indigenous people.  


Reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians. 


During National Reconciliation Week, Laing O’Rourke hosts events and conversations to support the reconciliation journey. 


The theme in 2023 for National Reconciliation Week is ‘Be a voice for generations’, which is timely given Australians will soon be asked to vote in a referendum called The Voice to Parliament.  


If the referendum passes, the constitution will change to recognise an independent and permanent advisory body which will give advice to the Australian Parliament and Government on matters that affect the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  


While companies don’t vote in the referendum, Laing O’Rourke made a commitment in our Reconciliation Action Plan to host an online educational session on both the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the Referendum, so our people can make an informed decision.  


The video at the top of this story is a conversation with Bridget Cama, an associate of the Indigenous Law Centre at UNSW who has been working with the Uluru Dialogue since March 2019. It is a simple explainer which, after sharing internally at Laing O’Rourke, Bridget supported us in publishing more broadly.  


We hope you can make time to watch the video too – spending time educating yourself on The Voice to Parliament is a great way you can support the reconciliation journey.