Tuesday, 28 March 2023
With Australians voting in a referendum this year and being asked to alter the Constitution that establishes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ‘Voice’ — and at a time when we are being invited into constructive dialogue —  the OIU held a ‘Voice Dialogue’ in the O'Kelly Theatre on Thursday March 23. Jesuit priest, human rights lawyer and advocate for Indigenous rights Fr Frank Brennan SJ shared with us his perspectives together with Indigenous Old Boy Kyle Wallace (OR2021). The discussion was moderated by Daniel Street (OR1998) and explored both the "Yes" and "No" cases being put forward by advocates.  The College's First Nations Coordinator Kaleb Taylor led the Acknowledgment of Country.

The panel explored answers to key questions, including:

  • Is the Voice to be a Voice to Parliament or a Voice to Parliament and to Government ?
  • Is the Voice to be primarily concerned with special laws applying specifically to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders?
  • Or is the Voice to be able to make representations on all manner of things, including laws and policies which impact both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-Indigenous Australians? If so, is there any law or policy that does not impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders?

This OIU “The Voice” Dialogue examined the narrow pathway to constitutional recognition so members of the Riverview community can be better informed in making up their own mind before Australia casts its vote.

Note: At the conclusion of this 'Voice Dialogue' Fr Brennan signed copies of his new book, which can also be purchased using this link: 'An Indigenous Voice to Parliament: Considering a constitutional bridge'

To view a replay of the Voice Dialogue click here.