The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia has released a statement expressing its strong support for the Voice referendum: ‘To alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice’.
‘The Voice is needed and the time for it is now,’ said Academy President, Professor Richard Holden. ‘It is a vital step in reconciliation and moving forward as a nation’.
Professor Holden acknowledged the many Academy Fellows and social scientists who contributed their expertise to the debates surrounding the Uluru Statement, the Voice and the referendum. In particular, he praised the commitment, advocacy and leadership of Academy Fellows Professors Marcia Langton AO, Tom Calma AO and Megan Davis over many years.
‘In making this statement in the lead-up to the referendum we are guided by social science on the harms caused by the disempowerment and marginalisation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities.’
‘We are also moved to respond by the compelling invitation that the authors of The Uluru Statement from the Heart—among them several Academy Fellows—have extended to all of us to walk together “for a better future”.’
In the words of Academy Fellow Professor Megan Davis, ‘the Voice is critical in acknowledging and addressing past injustices and enabling true reconciliation in Australia.’
‘I encourage all Australians to listen and learn about the Voice, to become informed and engage in respectful discussions over the next few months.’
For more information about the Academy’s commitments and actions towards reconciliation and resources and information from Academy Fellows and other experts on the Voice debate, visit www.socialsciences.org.au/firstnations.