Australian Ethical says Yes to Voice Referendum
Australian Ethical supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart. We welcome and are supportive of moves for a First Nations Voice to Parliament protected by the Australian constitution. Our conviction is that a decision to enable First Nations Peoples to have a say in policy and legal decisions that impact their lives is an important step forward for our nation, not only in recognising our shared history, but also in better enabling solutions that empower First Nations people and communities today, as well as generations to come.
The Australian Ethical Charter promotes investments and activities that contribute to human flourishing, dignity, health and education. We believe this is an important step towards achieving a sustainable, resilient, and prosperous future for all Australians.
Our conviction is that a decision to enable First Nations Peoples to have a say in policy and legal decisions that impact their lives is an important step forward for our nation, not only in recognising our shared history, but also in better enabling solutions that empower First Nations people and communities today, as well as generations to come.
As an ethical investor since 1986, Australian Ethical has always sought to advocate on issues where we believe change is needed and beneficial. We were founded with the purpose to invest for a better world, and it is through this lens that we have given careful consideration to all the issues surrounding the upcoming Voice Referendum.
As part of this process we’ve been privileged to hear from various First Nations voices and have sought perspectives from across our sector and within our team.
But there is also a very personal perspective for me on this issue. Over the course of my career I’ve lived in various remote parts of Australia, and have been fortunate to work closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from the Luritja mob of the Western Desert, the Anandilyakwa mob on Groote Eylandt, and the Yindjibarndi, Ngarluma and Guruma mobs in the Pilbara region of north-western Australia.
Friendships formed with these groups and others over many years have shaped and influenced my own understanding and perspective of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues in our country. I have witnessed first-hand the shocking impacts of the many gaps that exist in areas such as health, education, housing, employment, social wellbeing and incarceration rates. But I have also been profoundly impacted in a positive way by what I have experienced and learnt from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over many years about culture, kinship, community and country. These experiences have been deeply formative and have shown me how much I still need to learn. But they have also given me a deep sense of gratitude and respect for the leadership, culture and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across our country.
As we approach the upcoming Voice referendum my sense is that as a nation we have unfinished business in understanding and making peace with our history. As we consider the issues surrounding the referendum, there is complexity and nuance, and a diverse range of strongly held views across the community. It’s important to recognise that no process, political or otherwise, will ever likely be without fault or limitation. But even in this context the referendum presents a generational opportunity for our nation to take a positive step forward. It is not perfect, but looking back at our history no process ever has been.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart captures the deep pain of our nation’s history, and also outlines the hopes and aspirations of First Nations people. Constitutional recognition is an important step, but it is not the only part of the story. The Statement invites us all to walk forward together in a movement of the Australian people for a better future and a fuller expression of our nationhood.
At Australian Ethical we want to play our part in this journey. This is core to who we are as ethical investors who care deeply about issues of justice in our society. Our conviction is that issues of justice have a strong and direct correlation with building a sustainable, resilient and prosperous future for all Australians.
At Australian Ethical we want to play our part in this journey. This is core to who we are as ethical investors who care deeply about issues of justice in our society.
We are pleased to affirm support for a Yes vote in the upcoming referendum. Supporting this are a range of internal and external initiatives with our staff, members and investors to help build awareness and understanding on all relevant issues regarding the referendum. We are also actively engaged in broader activities through our members, investments and Foundation as part of our Reconciliation Action Plan.
The Australian Ethical Foundation is working with Mimal Land Management Aboriginal Corporation and the Karrkad Kanjdji Trust (KKT) to support Indigenous women rangers in West and Central Arnhem Land protect and restore Country.
The Australian Ethical Foundation is supporting Grata Fund's Australian Climate Case, representing Uncle Pabai and Uncle Paul – First Nations leaders from remote islands in the Torres Strait.
We’ve collated a handful of resources to help stay informed on the Voice to Parliament.
- Listen or read: The Uluru Statement from the Heart. Professor Megan Davis, member of the Referendum Council, reads the Uluru Statement from the Heart for the first time in history on the floor of the First Nationals Constitutional Convention
- Read: The Conversation: Your Questions Answered on the Voice to Parliament.
- Build support: Messaging strategies to build transformative change with Passing the Message Stick
- Watch: The Voice to Parliament Handbook by Thomas Mayo and Kerry O’Brien
- Fact check: AAP Fact Check articles on the Voice to Parliament
- Get involved: Volunteer with a local community group