Healthy Cities Illawarra, guided by our core values of integrity, collaboration, equity, and inclusivity, emphatically add our support to the three recommendations of the Uluru Statement of the Heart – starting with the establishment of a Voice to Parliament and constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first peoples of Australia.
We aspire to be our region’s flagship health and wellbeing organisation through collaboration with our community to make a positive impact. To achieve this, we must do everything in our power to advance the lived experience and wholistic health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our communities – many of whom suffer the disproportionate levels of chronic disease, health and social disadvantage and premature death – as a result of systemic policy failures, discrimination and mistakes of the past.
We acknowledge the enduring relationship of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as custodians and caretakers of Country, its stories and its knowledges. We acknowledge the ongoing inequity experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and recognise that the absence of their knowledges, experiences, and aspirations from policy and interventions allows these inequities to persist. We acknowledge the importance for all peoples, particularly those who are systemically disadvantaged, to be heard in relation to matters which impact them and for that voice to be protected.
Healthy Cities Illawarra supports a YES vote in the upcoming referendum and the establishment of an Indigenous Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution. We support this step towards a morally just society; a healthier, more equitable Australia that we can all be proud of.
There is nothing to lose, but so much to gain – for everyone – with a Voice.
Catherine Moyle, Chair – Healthy Cities Illawarra
Kelly Andrews, CEO – Healthy Cities Illawarra