South Australia: Faith Leaders support the Referendum for The Voice

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Religions for Peace Australia supports the Uluru Statement’s Voice – Truth – Treaty. Aware of wrongs to Aboriginal people by faith groups, we do what we can in truth-telling and submissions on raising the age of incarceration etc.

Religions for Peace Australia supports the Uluru Statement’s Voice – Truth – Treaty. Aware of wrongs to Aboriginal people by faith groups, we do what we can in truth-telling and submissions on raising the age of incarceration etc, and other forms of support, mundane and supramundane.

Multifaith South Australia’s 2015 Commitment to Interfaith Harmony begins by paying respect to all elders, past present and emerging – Our role is respecting difference and growing understanding & friendship between all peoples now living on this land called Australia.

Like Noel Pearson, I was struck by Megalogenis’ description of Australian society as a tree – the roots are our First Nations, early settlers & descendants the trunk & its flourishing leaves & branches are our many Multicultural Multifaith Migrant communities.

I’m a tiny speck of bark & I was a 4-year-old when Australians last came together to vote in a Referendum that directly affected our First Nations. I saw the old poster on IATSIS:

“Right Wrongs – Write YES for Aborigines on May 27”

As a child, we drove over NSW bridges called Poisoned Waterhole Creek & later, I wept when I learnt the truth. Now I’m 60.

For the sake of our country & the ability to sleep at night, I will be voting yes next Saturday and encouraging others likewise.

Our right to a free vote is sacrosanct – and so is the right of the traditional custodians of this land to be heard… & to be heeded.

Our world is in peril – we have collectively unleashed the demons of man-made climate change & now face the reality of the predicted increased frequency & intensity of extreme events, crossing tipping points at an alarming rate from Amazonia to Antarctica.

If this can be a tipping point toward Justice and Reconciliation, a chance to heed the voices and the wisdom of caring for Country, THIS Country, then it’s also a crucial moment for our World for we need to learn how to treat this Earth & all livings beings with more respect and understanding.

Whatever happens we need to work together.
Let us Walk Humbly onward together.


Thank You.
Philippa Rowland
President, Multifaith Association of South Australia
Chair, Religions for Peace Australia
M: 0429 828412

Date published:

Media type:

General public

JOURNALIST: These polls suggest that the support of all major faith leaders for the Voice is not extended to congregations and government Ministers have been increasingly involved in faith-based events in support of the Voice, such as today. How will your involvement assist in getting that message out, where that of faith leaders has not?
MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND AGED CARE, MARK BUTLER: There’s been enormous support for faith leaders really since the Uluru Statement was issued back in 2017, because they are so connected to their community and listen to the voices of their constituencies, which are saying it is time to recognise the face of First Nations people in our Constitution, and to give shape to that recognition by listening to the Voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. And I can’t think, as the Health Minister, of an area of policy where listening would be more valuable than in health. Because we know that, with the best of intentions and substantial investment, we’re simply not closing the gap in health outcomes and life expectancy. So a new approach is needed. And I was delighted to be here with faith leaders from right across the spectrum and listen to their support for this referendum, in eight days time.
In eight days time, Australians will get a chance to vote for an enormous step forward in reconciliation in this country. And I just encourage Australians to think carefully about the opportunities that are presented to this once-in-a-generation referendum.
JOURNALIST: Is it possible you leave yourself open to criticism about separation of power in these sorts of involvements?
BUTLER: Our faith communities have got a very long history of supporting disadvantage and advocating for strong progressive social policies. So much of our social community services infrastructure and services are delivered by faith groups and have been for many, many decades. Many of them understand, better than most, the level of disadvantage experienced by Indigenous Australians, because they provide aged care services, health services, homelessness services to them and have for many decades. So it’s always appropriate, I think, to listen to all groups in civil society. The Labor Party has always encouraged a vibrant, democratic approach that hears the voices of all. So we’ve been so encouraged by the strong support this referendum has received from faith leaders.


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