It’s less than 4 weeks until the first referendum in Australia since 1999. In 1999, WIO had only been around for 1 year, homosexuality had only been decriminalised in Tasmania for 2 years, and Wybalenna had been returned to Tasmanian Aboriginal ownership that same year. A lot has changed in Australia since then, but a lot has not changed enough. One thing that has remained constant is WIO’s commitment to justice and inclusion. Please read on for our statement regarding the referendum:
In 2017 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates from around Australia called for the advancement of justice and inclusion through an invitation to Voice, Treaty and Truth via the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
As such, Working It Out supports the YES vote for Constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples as the First Peoples of Australia as an important step towards this justice and inclusion.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the right to have a say on issues that affect them and having this say will lead to better health and educational outcomes. Human rights and recognition should never be a matter of public opinion – with the Marriage Equality plebiscite still in recent memories, we know this all too well. This referendum process towards equity and justice is a stark reminder of the historic and ongoing consequences of colonialism.
Working It Out’s vision of a just and inclusive society that celebrates people of diverse sexualities, sex and genders includes our fellow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTIQA+SB community members (https://blackrainbow.org.au/uluru/). We stand in solidarity with them and all First Peoples of Australia at this difficult time.