In late 2023, Australians will have their say in a referendum about whether to change the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Voice to parliament and government.
The Uniting Church of Australia, Queen’s College’s sole member, and the University of Melbourne with which the College is affiliated have both publicly declared their support for The Voice Referendum.
In its 2023-27 Strategic Plan recently approved by Council, Queen’s College places emphasis on the important place that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People play in our nation and College and commits the College to heighten the visibility and presence of First Nations peoples within our community.
Freedom of enquiry and the free expression of ideas are fundamental to Queen’s College values. All members of our community are entitled to engage in robust, evidence-based and respectful expression of their views and the College seeks to maintain a safe place for expressing differing opinions. The College will continue to contribute to the referendum process by actively facilitating informed public debate. Not everyone will vote ‘yes’ and we fully respect that.
Against this background Council asserts:
As an intentional academic community, Queen’s College upholds, affirms and supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Our belief that First Peoples must be recognised in our Constitution and our support for the Uluru Statement ‘From the Heart’ are the basis for our support of the profound importance of the referendum concerning a First Peoples’ Voice to Parliament.
As a result, Queen’s College Council affirms its support for the recognition of First Peoples’ and their Voice to be preserved in the Constitution.
In making this statement Queen’s College Council fully understands and respects that members of our community will have a diverse range of views on the referendum and will vote according to their convictions. The College will provide opportunities and encourage debate and discussion over this important issue within our community.
President, Queen’s College Council