Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament
20 Jun 2023
Thorne Harbour Health (THH) acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia, their invaluable cultural diversity and enduring connections to land and community. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, to their diverse cultures, and to their Elders past and present.
THH recognises and celebrates the exceptional contributions made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQ+, sistergirl and brotherboy communities (Rainbow Mob) who have a proud history of championing health and human rights.
Our organisation is acutely aware of the health and wellbeing disparities experienced by Rainbow Mob. These systemic disadvantages have been perpetuated by the enduring impact of colonisation and the continued cycles of intergenerational trauma.
Since 2017, we have stood as a staunch supporter of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and its vision of constitutional reform. Aligning with the Uluru Statement from the Heart’s origins within community, THH supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people being central in leading the design of the Voice to Parliament. THH believes that the establishment of an Indigenous Voice enshrined in the Constitution and the creation of a Makarrata Commission for treaty-making and truth-telling is paramount. We stand in solidarity with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), in calling for a ‘Yes’ vote in the 2023 Referendum, which will empower the voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be heard.
Thorne Harbour Health recognises the potential of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to bring additional guidance and accountability to government interventions. This initiative is rooted in the understanding that when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a genuine say in policies, programs, and services that affect them, improved outcomes are achieved.
We acknowledge that the path leading to the Referendum may exacerbate existing harms to Rainbow Mob. THH will use its own services and work collaboratively with partner organisations to offer support during these times and into the future.
Our commitment is rooted in the hope that the world’s oldest living culture can be truly empowered to have a significant standing in the Country they have nurtured for thousands of years. Through establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in Australia’s Constitution, we envisage a brighter future and one that offers hope for generations to come.