Reflection on The Voice referendum

November 6, 2023
An artwork by South Sea Islander and Butchulla artist and designer Tarni O’Shea, featuring a central element representing rejuvenation of the land through fire, constructive conversations, and creating an environment of learning and healing. This is surrounded by nurturing elements depicting UnitingCare business functions. Freshwater and saltwater flows around this, connecting UnitingCare to people far and wide.


The outcome of the October 14 referendum on a Voice to Parliament will not deter UnitingCare Queensland from our deep and abiding commitment to walk alongside First Nations Peoples in co-creating more impactful policy, governance and practices.


We will continue our work, in respectful partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, to constructively and practically make a difference in their lives, across our many healthcare, aged care, disability and community services.


Although the referendum did not pass; we want to acknowledge the efforts of many First and Second peoples to inform and support positive engagement on The Voice.


It is important to also acknowledge the emotional costs on everyone, regardless of their personal view or position. This is a time for reflection, and we understand the result of the referendum will affect people differently, being cause for strong feelings and perhaps distress.


As UnitingCare attends to the wellbeing of our colleagues and the people we serve, we recognise that people will experience the outcome in their own way and urge all to listen with an open heart and learn through friendship and community.


We also acknowledge those who demonstrated great integrity and leadership in living out UntingCare’s values throughout the referendum process.


The Uluru Statement from the Heart aligns strongly with the mission practices that are central to our work, in particular: Standing up for what is fair and just; and Walking together with First Peoples.


Our hearts sit with all those who held aspirations for practical and purposeful recognition through the referendum; please know we are with you.


Visit the UnitingCare Reconciliation page.