16 October 2023
Acting CEO message: Referendum result
With the Voice to Parliament Referendum returning a ‘no’ result over the weekend, I would like to express how disappointed we are by the outcome. I know many young people in our networks will be feeling incredibly disheartened and frustrated by this result, and the impacts this will have on our nation moving forward.
As an organisation, we stand as allies with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We acknowledge the pain this process has caused, and respect the need for time now to process and heal from what has been a very difficult and exhausting campaign.
As we have said from the outset, CMY truly believes a Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution would be a meaningful and empowering step towards Australia’s First Nations peoples being properly recognised and having a say in the matters that affect them. The result of this vote does not mean the end of this journey; but there is more work to be done to get there.
For those of you who had challenging conversations with loved ones, or created safe spaces for community members or complete strangers to ask questions about the Referendum and what it all meant, thank you. Your contribution matters.
CMY remains committed in our support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and believe wholeheartedly that its recommendations – Voice, Treaty, and Truth – should be fully implemented. Some of this work is underway in Victoria, with Treaty negotiations between the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria and the Victorian Government, and the first formal truth-telling with the Yoorrook Justice Commission. The Federal Government must prioritise this important work too.
At such a significant moment in our nation’s history, we all need to pause and take the time to reflect deeply on the Referendum outcome, the impacts it has on First Nations communities, and what it means for us as a nation, before we can move forward constructively.
CMY believes that things can and will change, and we draw on the strength, energy, hope and unity in the hearts of many who campaigned for the Voice; and use this to guide our way forward.
Acting CEO, CMY
For anyone who might be struggling during this time, we encourage you to reach out to one of the organisations below for support.
- 13YARN: 24/7 Crisis Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- Lifeline Australia: 24/7 Crisis Support and Suicide Prevention
- Suicide Call Back Service: 24/7 phone and online counselling
- Kids Helpline: 24/7 Helpline to support children and young people aged 5-25
- Headspace: Mental health support for young people aged 12-25
- Beyond Blue: 24/7 free telephone and online counselling