On 30 August 2023, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced that the referendum of the Voice to Parliament will be held on 14 October 2023.
A referendum is a vote used to approve a change to the Australian Constitution. This vote occurs after Parliament passes a Bill containing the proposed law. Both steps must be performed in accordance with a process provided by the Constitution. The referendum is successful if a ‘double majority’ votes ‘yes’ to the proposed changes. A double majority is:
- a national majority of voters in the states and territories; and
- a majority of voters in at least 4 out of the 6 states.
This is a major moment in our history as a nation. The proposed referendum question is:
“A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
Do you approve this proposed alteration?”
Voters will be asked to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and must write their answer in full to have their vote counted.
We confirm that the Director Solicitors of Cheney Suthers Lawyers approve of this alteration. We see it as an opportunity to enable a just and accessible legal system for all. We acknowledge the diversity of opinion in the community in this important matter.
On 18 August 2023, the Law Society of New South Wales published a Statement on the Voice, advising that the “Council of the Law Society of NSW has resolved unanimously to support the proposal to enshrine an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in the Australian Constitution.”
We recommend you inform and educate yourself before the referendum so if you do not understand the proposal, you have the opportunity to understand it before the referendum takes place on 14 October 2023. Here is a list of reputable and knowledgeable expert sources of information (not from social media) for you to inform yourself:
- History of the Voice
- The Uluru Statement
- The Voice Principles
- UNSW University “Ten Questions about the Voice to Parliament – answered by the Experts” 19 June 2023 by Gabrielle Appleby, Geoffrey Lindell and Hannah McGlade
- ABC News Online, “The Voice to Parliament explained: How to vote, what is the referendum question and when will we know the result?” by Jake Evans, 30 August 2023
- Law Society of New South Wales frequently asked questions
- Law Society of New South Wales media release
- Reconciliation Australia
- Constitution Alteration Bill