The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) strongly supports the establishment of a constitutionally recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament and the Executive Government (“the Voice”), and encourages our Fellows to champion this critical step in reconciliation, accepting the Uluru Statement’s invitation to “walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future”.
Establishing the Voice will provide a forum for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to make representations to Federal Parliament and Executive Government on matters that affect them. A “yes” result in the referendum will permanently enshrine the Voice in the Australian political system due to its inclusion in the constitution.
ATSE recognises the importance of including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in decisions affecting their own peoples and communities. We strongly support establishing the Voice to Parliament as a critical step in reconciliation and moving forward as a nation.
Ahead of the referendum on the Voice, ATSE encourages all Australians to commit to a respectful and appropriate approach to the preceding national discussion.
There is an opportunity to create an enduring context and ethos for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation, engagement, leadership and innovation in solving the most pressing national challenges. It is an important foundation to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are at the forefront of policy and issues relevant to their custodianship of the land, heritage, its current setting and future development.
ATSE acknowledges the significance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander innovations, technologies, and knowledge systems, which have been a living and evolving tradition over more than 60,000 years in the world’s oldest living culture. ATSE’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) communicates a vision for reconciliation in which all Australians recognise and value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander custodianship and Traditional Knowledge as the oldest continuing knowledge system on the planet.
ATSE is committed to promoting reconciliation through its sphere of influence. ATSE joined with other Australian Learned Academies through the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) to respond to the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and is committed to respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, knowledge and perspectives, including in our reports and in our advice to governments.