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22/03/19

Joint law firms’ response to the Uluru Statement from the Heart

Today Gilbert + Tobin joins with other leading law firms to support the call of First Nations Peoples for a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament. 

Constitutionally enshrining a Voice to Parliament, as called for in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, is achievable, upholding our democratic traditions, and will guarantee First Nations Peoples a say in their future; something denied them since 1788.  It is a critical first step in walking with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples towards a better future.

Gilbert + Tobin urges the Australian Government to introduce a referendum to enshrine the Voice as a matter of priority.

Gilbert + Tobin managing partner Danny Gilbert, long an advocate of structural reform to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, said in respect of the joint statement from law firms:

"First Peoples want proper and respectful recognition of their place in the nation in our primary instrument of national governance – our Constitution.  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples must have a guaranteed say in the decisions that affect their lives. 

No other group of Australians has so many people at every level of government influencing, and in many cases controlling, their lives or are so powerless in shaping the regulations and policies which inform their lives.

It is encouraging to see the support of so many firms for a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution and for referendum as a national priority.

A constitutionally guaranteed Voice to Parliament is a rejection of symbolism and a call by grassroots Indigenous voices for meaningful and respectful engagement. We will all be richer for it."

Related coverage:

Read the article in today's Australian Financial Review, "Law firms back Uluru Statement".

Read the opinion piece by Danny Gilbert (from May 2018), also in the Australain Financial Review, "Why we need an Indigenous 'voice to the Parliament".

 

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