Statement of the Board of The Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture (Foundation House) concerning the referendum to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice
31 May 2023
The Foundation House Acknowledgement of Country states:
“In keeping with Foundation House’s aspiration to heal individuals and communities, we recognise the loss of children, land, language, lore and also the loss of the spiritual and physical wellbeing of the people of the Kulin nation and other Indigenous Victorians, due to the impact of colonisation.”
Much remains to be done to respond to the profound, traumatic impacts of dispossession across Australia.
A variety of actions are necessary at local, regional, and national levels.
It is critical that First Nations Australians are partners in the shaping and implementation of the responses.
We are mindful that there are divergent views within the Australian community, including among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Peoples, about how that can best be achieved.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation from First Nations Australians to walk together to build a better future by establishing a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution, and the establishment of a Makaratta Commission for the purpose of treaty-making and truth-telling.
The Board of Foundation House believes that this invitation should be accepted and supports the establishment of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. This would be a significant step toward the achievement of positive outcomes for First Nations Australians and our country as a whole.
Remberto Rivera, Chair
on behalf of the VFST Board of Directors