Speech by Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett AO

On 9 May 2023, the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law hosted its Annual Lecture presented by Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett Hon DLittSW AO in collaboration with King & Wood Mallesons.

Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett AO, who is a member of King & Wood Mallesons' inaugural First Nations Leaders Circle, spoke on the upcoming constitutional referendum on the Voice. Muriel reflected on her more than 30 years’ experience as Chief Executive Office of the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) and experience as Chair of the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC), the peak Australian agency for Indigenous child and family services.

We thank Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett AO for her powerful lecture.

Speech by Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett Hon DLittSW AO

Read the unedited speech Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett AO gave at the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law Annual Lecture in conjunction with King & Wood Mallesons, on Tuesday 9 May 2023.

This speech can be cited as:

Muriel Bamblett, 'Voice to Parliament' (Lecture, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law and King & Wood Mallesons, 9 May 2023) www.monash.edu/law/research/centres/castancentre/our-areas-of-work/indigenous/speech-by-muriel-bamblett

[Speech begins]

As a YortaYorta, Dja Dja Wurrung, Boonwurrung and Taungurong woman I want to begin by acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land we are on the Wurundjeri people and pay respects to their Elders and those emerging young people coming through.  For with them our futures rest.

Today I have been asked to talk about the Voice to Federal Parliament, the work of VACCA and how they intersect. But before I start I would like to pay tribute to Ron Castan. Many of you would know his work around Mabo and that he was instrumental in creating what we now know as the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service or VALS.

What you might not know was that in December 1976 a women named Aunty Mollie Dyer worked at VALS. Fed up with the ongoing and alarming rate of removals of Aboriginal children from their families and the continued lack of commitment by Government to stop in practice the ongoing forced removal of Aboriginal children - Aunty Mollie and VALS formed VACCA.

Just like the Casten family and the law firms you represent, I don’t think you set out to create a legacy or to inspire others, you really are about doing what’s right and helping others. This is also the Aboriginal way. And it is the VACCA way. And it’s why I’m very pleased to be here today.

My aim in talking with you today is to weave you a story about how these two areas, Voice, VACCA’s work and a third area of privilege, they are very much linked and I will share with you what I think are some of the opportunities that are open to us if we have the appetite for radical change.

Obviously for anyone preparing for a speech as important as this, you know it would require lots of planning and careful consideration in framing it correctly in addressing today’s audience’s level of interest and telling an engaging story.

You see, for me, like many Aboriginal people, there are many visible and invisible challenges when putting an Aboriginal voice in the room. You never really know the people in the room or of what their knowledge and experiences are of Aboriginal people. Nor whether they believe the myths and stereotyping of Aboriginal.  There is also the challenge of addressing the knowledge, skills and awareness gaps that Australia needs in relation to its First Peoples.

Having an Aboriginal voice is not always easy. There are those who know a lot academically, whilst combining expertise in their chosen field and being able to lift sectors up.  Many more have lived their lives Aboriginal and can draw on and speak of Aboriginal ways of being, knowing and doing.

I can remember the presentation that I felt most culturally safe to deliver was an invitation to speak at RMIT’s annual ‘Outrage’ lecture on World Social Work Day a number of years ago.  At this forum I was given licence to speak openly and candidly about what outraged me. I want to read you some comments I made:

I am outraged about the crisis experienced by so many of my people being incarcerated at levels never seen before and our children being taken in greater numbers than ever before and I barely hear a “peep” of concern from sources outside of the sector. Australia’s response to the crisis in Aboriginal communities is - remove them and imprison them. This is how we respond to the impact of colonialism, dispossession, poverty, racism, poor physical and mental health on Aboriginal people.  

I am constantly outraged about racism. Structural racism, institutional racism, personal acts of racism, casual racism. Racism in all its forms. We celebrate ‘Australia Day’ in this country, a day that represents the beginning of cultural and actual genocide for our First Peoples. I say “Genocide” because we were and are nations of Aboriginal Peoples and some of the nations of this continent were completely decimated by British colonialism. We name our streets, suburbs and landmarks after the murderers of our people. We have non-Aboriginal people lining up to tell Adam Goodes he is not experiencing racism. I don’t know if you find it ironic but I certainly do when those in powerful positions who are predominantly white people decide what is and what isn’t racism!! And this is at the heart of white privilege; not having to care about racism, its causes and its impacts. 

I quoted Drs Flavio Marsiglia and Stephen Kulis, who in their book Diversity, Oppression and Change: Culturally Grounded Social Work who contend that “when the desired results are not attained, there is a tendency to blame the client rather than to assess the cultural relevance of the service delivery system”.

You may well ask well ‘Why did I feel safe to say these and many other comments that I made at that forum?’.  I do believe for the first time I did not have to consider whether I was going to offend the listener.  I was given licence to speak to give voice to my outrage.

For me the Aboriginal voice is not a single voice, it is of a people who all speak in unison. I say for Aboriginal people there are 1000s of voices that we carry, whether it be the voices of our past Elders/Activists, pioneers, whether it be our Human Rights leaders in Megan Davies, Larissa Behrendt, Tim Goodwin, our politicians Linda Burney, Pat Dodson, our National and State leaders, too many to name give respect to and share. For Aboriginal people, our voice includes our Ancestors’ whether it be our patriarchal or matriarchal voices. Not just because we have an oral tradition of storytelling, ceremonies and spirituality and but because we believe we walk in the path our ancestors set for us and our ancestors are always looking over us.

Fortunately I had a life of privilege definitely not one of riches but one of not being removed, one of knowing who I was, living in an Aboriginal embedded home, with Aboriginal kinship, with Aboriginal dad, mum, grandparents, aunts, uncles and sister/brother cousins. Now I don’t know any other way, but think that is it’s pretty special?

I tell the story of a friend of mine, who lived on Cummeragunja mission when she was little and was meant to be in bed she’d sneak to the doorway, and stay just out of sight - to hear her grandparents and Elders tell stories of their childhoods, their grandparents, their struggles and triumphs, of traditions, lore, the animals and the Land told while sitting around the campfire. Stories that made her giggle.  Things that Elders don’t usually share with children. You can probably picture something like this in your life.

Our Children in out of home care don’t get to hear these voices. It’s lost to them and that’s what we at VACCA try to give back to children who are disconnected from culture and the voices of Aboriginal people, Elders and ancestors; stories.

Thinking about our voices of the past, Aboriginal people have a long history of trying to be heard and being inventive in how we tried to use western approaches to see if our voice would be listened to and acted upon.

Some iconic attempts at equality and addressing injustices that you might know.  The first documented Victorian “protest” took place in 1876 when Coranderrk mission was to be closed as the land was deemed to be of too much value and did not see the achievements of Aboriginal people nor their measures of success.

William Barak led Aboriginal men who marched for 60 kms to protest at the equivalent of the steps of Parliament. They did it again 10 years later and wrote lots of petitions seeking the same freedoms as the White population who as you know were gifted lands upon colonisation.

In 1933 William Cooper established the Aborigines League to fight for a fair deal.

In 1937 our leaders tried to petition the King for direct representation in Parliament.

On 26 January 1938 we had the first Day of Mourning that would become the Aboriginal tent Embassy in Canberra or what we’d call today a peaceful sit in, hand written signs.

In 1939 there was the Cummeragunja Walk-off – a strike over unfair conditions.

In 1949 if as an Aboriginal person you served in the armed forces you could vote in Federal elections but all other Aboriginal people didn’t get that right until 1962 when Aboriginal people became citizens of Australia.

Then in 1967 there was the referendum that to transfer the power to legislate for Aboriginal Australians from the states to the Commonwealth:

  • it also sought the power to include Aboriginal Australians in the national census.
  • 91% voted yes nationwide, 95% in Victoria

So it’s not like we as an Aboriginal people haven’t tried to have a voice and a sophisticated one, that met western expectations. These are but a few examples of Aboriginal voice.  Our Australian politics have a history of no-one listening and with the petition to the King, there was refusal by our Government and the monarchy to even acknowledge we had a voice at all.

I hope the success of the 67 referendum continues with this year’s referendum on the voice. At VACCA we’ve added our voice to the advocacy.

The lack of voice was to challenge us at VACCA throughout the 80’s and 90’s as we had no status, little authority, no agreements with government other than protocols which were significantly underfunded.  There was no requirement for government to listen, no social media or media in general willing to listen to the voice of Aboriginal people.

For VACCA up until the 1990s our voice was confined to writing letters. We didn’t get invited to sit at a decision making table to share our voice. We had very little funding, so we acted as an advocate for children’s safety and the importance of connection to kin, culture and country.  So much has changed, but so much has stayed the same.

I have had a lot of opportunities in my role as CEO of VACCA and Chair of SNAICC to come and share my voice, an Aboriginal perspective. I’ve spoken at universities, conferences, inquests, inquiries and Royal commissions. I’ve spoken to lots of Ministers, members of Parliament, bureaucrats, lawyers, judges, magistrates as well as front line child protection, family violence staff and to children, families and communities.

I know the voice of VACCA has made a difference and we will continue to drive reform and meaningful change.  We have influenced plans and strategies, taskforces, charters, declarations, commitments to improve the lives of Aboriginal children, especially those taken from their families.  Using our voice.

At the recent Yoorrook hearings you would have heard that Victoria’s child protection system is racist and removes more children than the stolen generations. Family violence has skyrocketed against Aboriginal women. Data from one of our regions says that 85% of the time it’s non-Indigenous men using violence.

I know you know the incarceration rates of Aboriginal men, women and young people. We had a Royal commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody back in 1991.  In 2023 there have been 5 deaths this year alone.

Again Yoorrook said last week over 70% of Aboriginal young people in custody or on remand have a cognitive disability this goes down slightly in the adult population to around 68%. Why are we happy as a society to lock up disabled Aboriginal people but reluctant to lock up other disabled peoples.

So who didn’t raise their voice, do their due diligence to get that child the service they had a right to – I’m sure many raised their voices and still the system proceeded to incarcerate rather than treat them. Is that what ‘voice’ is for? To punish others? Not support them. That’s not what I was taught.

Even today the Victorian Solicitor General’s Office in determining liability in civil litigation for historical sexual abuse claims try and use government neglect and underfunding against us instead of acknowledging government failed in their duty of care. We feel as an organisation and Aboriginal people we would not have failed our children if we had a voice.

If Government had listened to the voice of Aboriginal people, then what would be different do you think – in the past and now?  Because that is what this Voice to Parliament will do.

It forces Governments to see Aboriginal people and acknowledge us first of all. BUT it also places the responsibility on Government to listen and act.

You would all be familiar with the landmark Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission inquiry into the forcible removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their families. The report, Bringing them Home, was released in May 1997. This inquiry found that:

1. Removal laws were racially discriminatory, and genocidal in intent; and

2. For many children removed there were breaches of fiduciary duty and duty of care, as well as criminal actions.

The government at the time didn’t disagree that they failed in their duty of care, that they had an obligation to act in the Aboriginal children’s best interests, that they did not engage in criminal actions. They fought the need  for reparations and argued that the laws were not genocidal and did not amount to a gross violation of human rights.

They found the biggest rug laying around Parliament house and just swept and swept until it went away. No remorse, on consequence after all they were just protecting us from ourselves. So, Ok. That’s it. Government spoke. Their Voice mattered most.

Having a voice is all about privilege. And like many with power and privilege, you change the policy, or throw money at it and it goes away.

Australia has never had an appetite to look at the legal recourse for gross and sustained negligence in Governments failure in their duty of care or the application of the best interests of the child or the Aboriginal Child Placement Principle.

We got the apology in 2008 for Stolen Generations but you might remember all the coverage, the fear mongering. Never a question that what happened was wrong.  It was about legal recourse and taxpayers money.

No surprise to anyone today but the voice back then that spoke loudest was the media. The media brainwashed and coerced society into believing that Australia should never engage in a truth telling process because there could be legal consequences for those that chose negligence.

We see this more and more today, the media spin;  owning the past, owning inaction, owning individual decisions is bad. It’s much easier to blame others, say the past is the past, get over it. All smoke and mirrors.  Sounds like the No campaign today, don’t you think?

As Aboriginal people we see it all the time, we are forced to compromise, water down our voice until it’s palatable for the masses, we have been so well trained that we as a community believe that small steps are better than none at all, that we have to pick our battles or we will compromise reform, meaningful change.

That an apology is a radical idea. That recognising that Aboriginal people were the first peoples of this country in our constitution and that they deserve a voice into issues that affect their lives – Radical!

I highlight this because I want to divert your attention to our brothers and sisters in Canada and the USA.

My friend Cindy Blackstock is a passionate human rights defender and a Professor of Social Work at McGill University and the Executive Director of First Nations Child & Family Caring Society.

She is a member of the Gitxsan First Nation in Canada. She has just released a new model and extensive research on how colonisers use brutal, authoritarian tactics and engage in mind control and undue influence to dampen or eradicate the Voice of First Nations people including here in Australia. Ring a bell?

She adds that thought control and therefore the lack of voice, is a tactic used to manipulate people into abandoning their identities and to instil a new sense of reality.

In the United States and Canada and Australia, this tactic is used to systematically erase Indigenous language, history, and traditions and perpetrate genocide.

These agendas are engrained in laws to cast injustice as “justice” and resistance and human rights defending as “illegal.”

Last year, in the first of its kind, Cindy and other legal experts successfully argued that the Canadian Government through its racist and unjust child removal policies knowingly failed in their duty of care and caused harm to children, young people, families and communities. Just like the Bringing them Home Report.

They found that from 1991 to 2022 instead of giving First Nations "help with food, clothing or shelter," the government's approach to child welfare funnelled Indigenous children into the out of home care system.

The settlement awarded $40 billion dollars. Half for compensation and half to reform the welfare system. This was a huge win for the Voice of first nations people.

But now a year on the Canadian Government is actively challenging some aspects of the settlement agreement in the courts and just last week they lost some of those appeals.

The Government Indigenous Minister said they don’t expect the appeal to hold things up, but that they do have some disagreements and – here’s the kicker – he said and I quote “I think we’re going to get to a place where people feel satisfied, both on the compensation side and on the reform side. But this is complex work.”

Now maybe you are a sceptic like me, maybe you’re not. I think the Minister’s comment equates voice with compromise, with listening but not hearing. Please keep this example in mind.  Canada is a great example of how a voice is not just for the moment, it must be enduring, have accountability measures, it must be enshrined in legislation.

In the US there is currently a legal challenge to remove the need to get permission from the child’s First Nations people in order to foster out a child to a non-Indigenous family.

This is a legislated requirement and similar to our Aboriginal child Placement principle here. They are arguing that that the rule is too restrictive and negatively affects child safety. Now it’s America so we know white supremacy beliefs are next level. But this argument is not about child safety, child’s rights in privileging culture, keeping children connected to culture but it is an argument based on race and perceptions of white supremacy.  That the voice of the white foster carers is more important. I will be watching this case with interest as I believe this example places a racial hierarchy on voice. This only ever serves to reinforce privilege and for me that’s not what voice should be about.

Our experience at VACCA is one of listening to and sharing the Voice of Aboriginal children.  First and foremost children come first. We listen to and promote the voice of families, Elders and communities but it is the voice of our children and young people we covet most.

We do this because with the few examples I have given, the voice of the child usually comes last in the hierarchy, if at all. We don’t subscribe to this narrative and I hope you don’t either.

I did want to focus for a minute on the legal aspects of the work of VACCA.  Besides the ethical and compliance obligations, VACCA has in-house legal to interpret the Children and Young Persons Act to support interpretation of our workers role and responsibility with the children’s court and family law court.

Having legal also supports our advocacy, improves our duty of care to protect the legal and human rights of our people. Strengthens our casework and ensure agencies compliance with legalities of case management. I believe this will play a greater role moving forward and what human rights law looks like for VACCA and the communities we serve.

I do want to speak to Victoria’s reform agenda. The Premier has been a key player – yesterday raising possibility of Victorian Aboriginal voice to parliament.

However I want to speak to the Premiers re-election commitment to addressing the over representation of Aboriginal children in child protection system.  VACCA and a representation of child welfare ACCO’s met with the Premier in January to put our blueprint for reform to him which was to fund ACCO’s for demand for an end to end child welfare response.  Our proposal was bold and aimed at transferring all decision-making for Aboriginal children to Aboriginal control.

The Victorian Government’s Aboriginal Child Welfare commitment are arguably, the most significant policy initiative in Aboriginal child welfare in Victoria in two decades.

We had legislative reform in 2005. It took 10 long years of advocacy, fighting, lobbying to put that legislation into practice. In another presentation we talk about the challenges & blockers we over came – there were many and they still persist but I want to get to the change part – where I can share with you what this means in real life.

These laws allows the Secretary of the Department to transfer their powers and functions for an Aboriginal child on a court (protection) order to the CEO of an Aboriginal organisation.  This is referred to as Aboriginal guardianship or Section 18. There is a current Bill before parliament that will expand these provisions.  Current legislation before parliament under Children, Youth and Families Amendment Bill – negotiated with ACCO’s and our legal teams. Children, Youth and Families Amendment Bill include: Aboriginal statement of recognition; Advance self determination and self management; Legislate all five aspects of ACPP; Expand authorisation to ACCO to include investigations of protective intervention reports; Strengthen information sharing under ACAC; Extend definition of parent to reflect Aboriginal family contexts

In November 2017, after 2 years of “as if”, I was first given authorisation to undertake functions and powers in respect of Aboriginal children, as part of the Aboriginal Children in Aboriginal Care Program.

For me this means that for each child that comes under my care I take a role in their lives, as an ‘Aboriginal guardian. I currently have 108 children in Melbourne’s north and another 28 in inner Gippsland – this small number is determined by our funding.

Throughout VACCA we support over 800 children from birth to 18years of age, up to 25yo for our care leavers so there is no reason other than funding that all 800 plus children couldn’t also benefit from this program.

Taking on parental responsibility for children means I will make decisions about where the child lives, who the child spends time with, their medical care and I will make plans for their future.

As the child’s ‘Aboriginal guardian’ I am involved with the child and make sure they are connected to their culture, community and country, that they have strong Aboriginal role models, that they are proud and strong in their Aboriginal identity and that they know their family, their parents, their siblings and their kin, as culture starts with family, community and connection.

Our aim is always reunification and parents we work with through carers understand that they have to do the work too. We don’t want a cycle of in and out of care, we are looking for long term change, stability and strong families for everyone. That’s what families know they can expect and their voice is valued.

That’s now Government knows we deliver on what we say we will do. Courts know we have done the work in partnership with the children and parents and families. In one court session we returned 5 children across 3 families to their parents. The Magistrate sent me a letter after this court session, saying she had never been able to send that many children home before in one day.  How amazing is that.

I think this speaks to the need for voices to be balanced, based on evidence and personal experience. We need those whose voice is at the table to act with integrity and without self interest. And above all I believe we need an Aboriginal ethics committee to sit above politics to ensure best interests principles are adhered to.

Recently two Aboriginal women’s voice have dominated our feeds. And whether we agree or disagree with what they are saying, what their supporters and detractors say in response, the Voice to Parliament must not be about abusing the privilege that comes with having a voice.

Having a voice does not mean you are above the law or that your duty of care to community stops. Voice can be raw and unfiltered. Women especially have our voices diminished all the time preferencing men. Aboriginal women get called aggressive, angry, crazy, their tone is not right.  Voice doesn’t always need to meet civility requirements as we know how the word civil is used against Aboriginal people. We need ethics and cultural protocols for Aboriginal people and politicians alike.

Who’s voice you are listening to, who’s voice you might have the privilege of speaking for and how you use your privilege when your voice is listened to and your voice carries weight at the decision making table.

The voice means we are replacing the tick and flick approach to decision making, to an approach that is more about check and balance. All we as a people have ever wanted is autonomy, equality, respect and self determination.

Human rights are important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples because they are something we are looking forward to having in this country one day, hopefully soon.

Up till now, there hasn’t been much of it about. The exciting thing about human rights is that it can be a meeting place between our cultures. Human rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should mean that we are recognised as humans and recognised as distinct self-determining peoples. Self-determination for Aboriginal and Islander peoples is critical.

This referendum is so important because our voices are silenced again and again. I’ve given examples of this but just turn on the Tv or read the news. Look at how our country approaches welfare measures. They all feature mutual obligation which is too often destructive. The NT intervention of the past, robodebt, work for the dole, the current Alice Springs actions.

What the general community take for granted in having a voice, in access to universal and normal services, Aboriginal communities only receive on the basis of ‘mutual obligation’.

Mutual obligation is a policy which forces disempowered communities to negotiate with Government for the provision of basic services on the basis of the behavioural change of the community. It gives us as much dignity as Pavlov gave to his dogs. The opposite of ‘mutual obligation’ is human rights.

Human rights enables self-determination and self-determination enables our communities to have the capacity to take and action our cultural responsibilities to one another.

For decades our leaders have said we want rights not welfare. If Governments treat us on the basis of our self-determining rights as peoples instead of treating us as passive recipients of welfare as client communities, the debilitating effects of poverty can be overcome.

You only need to look overseas and compare life expectancy statistics to see that self-determination is good for our health. Indigenous peoples who have treaties and various self-determining rights have far better health outcomes.

Self-determination is also necessary if our children are to have a future.

Australia’s human rights instruments are currently inadequate in their protection for Indigenous peoples against systemic racism – don’t take it from me. That’s what the United Nations said.

The suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act when it comes to Native Title and the ease in which National Indigenous representation was abolished in the past demonstrate the need to embed human rights in Australian culture and policy.

Today our art and sacred sites are still being destroyed for mining, highways. How do you just move a sacred site by the way? This is something I find fascinating for another day.

I believe a Human Rights Bill would greatly strengthen the position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples if it includes measures which address issues of racial discrimination and racial respect. This isn’t instead of the Voice to Parliament, it’s as well as.

It would ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have equal rights in respect of effective participation in public life and that no decisions directly relating to their rights and interests are taken without their informed consent.

I also believe Children have the right to special protection because of their vulnerability. From VACCA’s perspective we believe that the child’s rights to culture, which acknowledges that protection of culture and identity are in the best interests of the child, should be part of any Victorian Human Rights document and feature in what the Voice to Parliament looks like in practice.

The Voice to Parliament is not just a question of justice, it’s also a question of best practice. A human rights framework on top of this which respects Aboriginal communities’ rights to self-determination and protects them from racism is essential if we are to tackle disadvantage through the Voice.

Fundamental to providing for Aboriginal self-determination and respecting Aboriginal governance, is also working with Aboriginal communities to restore their capacity to exercise their rights, freedoms and responsibilities in the context of the dominant culture.

I strongly believe that a Voice to Parliament will make a difference to Aboriginal Australians. I hope you vote yes when you get a chance.  But I also hope that you will be able to have different conversations with colleagues, family and friends about giving a voice to others doesn’t take away from your voice. And that surely it’s time that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are recognised in the constitution?

Thank-you for listening.

[End speech]

Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett Hon DLittSW AO

Muriel Bamblett is a Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung woman who has been employed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency since 1999.  Muriel is Chair of the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC), the peak Australian agency for Indigenous child and family services.Muriel is active on many boards and committees concerning children, families and the Indigenous community, including the Aboriginal Children’s Forum; the Dhelk Dja Family Violence Partnership Forum, the Aboriginal Justice Forum, the First Peoples Assembly and the Aboriginal Community Elders Service. Muriel is also a member of King & Wood Mallesons' inaugural First Nations Leaders Circle. Muriel’s contribution to her community and to Victoria has been recognised in many awards.  In 2019 Muriel was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the Australia Day Honours for distinguished service to the Indigenous community in Victoria as an advocate for the self-determination and cultural rights of children. Muriel has been inducted into the Victorian Indigenous Honour Roll and the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.

Professor Melissa Castan, Director, Castan Centre for Human Rights Law (left) with Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett AO (right).

Educational Resources

First Nations Voice to Parliament

The Castan Centre affirms its commitment to the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a First Nations Voice to Parliament. Together with Monash University, we look ‘forward to a future where Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians walk together toward a fair and truthful relationship and celebrate a vibrant and prosperous future’.

Our researchers have compiled educational resources and legal analysis to help you stay informed.

Learn more