First day of the Voice to Parliament Clinic

On Friday 19 May the first ever Castan Centre Voice to Parliament Clinic commenced.

(L-R) Professor Melissa Castan, Associate Professor Ronli Sifris, students of the Voice to Parliament Clinic, with Josh Burns MP (centre).

22 May 2023

The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law Voice to Parliament Clinic offers Monash Law students with an interest in social justice and human rights a unique opportunity to be part of the upcoming referendum on a First Nations Voice to Parliament.

Over the next 12 weeks, students involved in the Castan Centre Voice to Parliament Clinic, will educate, advocate and engage with the public to raise knowledge and awareness of this defining moment in our country’s history.

The first Voice to Parliament Clinic session was opened by Professor Melissa Castan (Castan Centre Director), Associate Professor Ronli Sifris (Castan Centre Deputy Director), and Dr Gina Bekker (Castan Centre Clinic Supervisor).

The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law also welcomed Josh Burns MP (Member for Macnamara and Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights) as the opening speaker for the first clinic day. He spoke passionately about his support for the Voice and gave guidance to the students around effective advocacy and engagement techniques.

Josh Burns MP (left) with Professor Melissa Castan (right).

Learn more

The referendum on the Voice to Parliament will guide the proposed constitutional change to enable First Nations people to be heard in matters that affect them. To learn more, Castan Centre members Dr Katie O’Bryan and Professor Paula Gerber debunk the myths and misconceptions regarding the proposal in this Monash Lens piece, Voice to Parliament: Debunking 10 myths and misconceptions.

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 on the Voice to Parliament to help you stay informed.