Influential Indigenous leader and activist Pat Turner will tonight double-down on calls for a constitutionally-enshrined Indigenous Voice to Parliament, increasing pressure on the Morrison Government to embrace the broadly-accepted measure.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports Turner will deliver the keynote speech at Sydney University for the Dr Charles Perkins Memorial Oration – named after her uncle, famed Indigenous activist Charles Perkins – in favour of adopting the proposal put forward by the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart.
The ability to “monitor and advise on making laws with respect to our people is still missing from the political and policy landscape,” Turner will say, adding that Australia’s government must “demonstrate that their institutions and bureaucracy can embrace the change” ahead.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart called on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups from across the map to present a unified vision for the future. A key proposal was the constitutionally-recognised Voice to Parliament, which would give Indigenous Australia direct input on the laws impacting those communities.
But the move was rejected at the time by the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who said the “radical” proposal was unlikely to be supported by most Australians.
The concept has not yet been adopted by Morrison’s administration, either, but an interim report on a voice for Indigenous Australians was recently handed to Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt.
In September, Turner, who has a senior advisory role in the ongoing report process, said any move towards a “Voice to Government” instead of a constitutionally-backed Voice “will not stand the test of time and be doomed to fail”.
You’ll be able to catch Turner’s speech at 8pm AEST tonight, with streams available through the University of Sydney and the ABC.
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