Aboriginal Health Council WA (AHCWA) is the peak body for Aboriginal community-controlled health services across Western Australia, and we provide support and advocacy across our vastly diverse and unique communities, lands and waterways. AHCWA recognises the need for structural change, and believes that a Voice to Parliament and constitutional recognition will provide a transparent and accountable avenue to influence policy that improves health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
AHCWA therefore says ‘Yes’ to a First Nations Voice to Parliament, recognising this important moment in history to embed powerful and permanent representation in our Constitution for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia. AHCWA also recognises and pays tribute to the ongoing work and advocacy related to the complete implementation of the Uluru Statement of the Heart, and looks forward to future national conversations, commitment, and collective action on Treaty and Truth.
We support the Voice to Parliament and constitutional recognition as a positive step towards national reconciliation, maturity and justice. In the face of hardship and colonial legacies of cultural oppression and exclusion, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the Country continue to demonstrate profound resilience, and we can make better laws and policies when we listen and embrace the knowledge, cultures, and stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities. We need to continue mobilising efforts to achieve the objectives of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap to further enable the strengths of the community-controlled sector in providing culturally safe and effective support for Aboriginal people. We see the great strengths of Aboriginal self-determination, resulting in positive change for our communities. When the skills, experience, and leadership of Aboriginal people are respected, communities can thrive, and we see solidarity in our efforts, such as in the COVID-19 response.
AHCWA also recognises and acknowledges the diversity of perspectives in Aboriginal communities’ and organisations on the Voice, and AHCWA encourages everyone to engage with the Voice to Parliament and consider the possible health and wellbeing benefits for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Media contact: Alicia Boudville – Communications Coordinator – 08 9228 1099