The Australian Land Conservation Alliance’s vision is for a healthy and resilient Australia. In achieving this vision, ALCA and our members are on a journey, working and walking with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues.
ALCA recognises that work in managing and caring for Country benefits from the knowledge and leadership of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We recognise and respect the deep and enduring relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have with land, sea and water. We recognise the enduring persistence, knowledge and connection built over tens of thousands of years. We recognise that for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, nature and culture are inextricably connected. We acknowledge and value the role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continue to play in managing Country today and their right to self-determination. We recognise that we are stronger together.
Later this year, Australians will vote in a Referendum on whether to change the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. The voice is about recognition and about listening.
In considering the Referendum, the ALCA Board has reviewed the positions of ALCA members, consulted with ALCA’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Working Group, other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups and individuals that ALCA engage with in the course of our work. Though perspectives varied, there is an overall sentiment towards recognition, listening, and of hope for a better future.
The Board of the Australian Land Conservation Alliance supports the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution and an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament. The Board recognises that an Indigenous Voice to Parliament is a step in the right direction, and that there is much more to do.
Referendums are a pivotal moment. They can be a time of opportunity and hope and they can signal the potential for real recognition and change. Referendums can also take great emotional toll and increase the demands on those communities around which any referendum most directly impacts. We acknowledge this toll, and further, support and encourage constructive dialogue, open conversation and respect for each other.
We stand with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and look towards a better future, together.
· Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice (Australian Government)
· Referendum Resilience (Anti-Discrimination New South Wales)