Hope Street Youth and Family Services proudly supports the First Nations Voice to Parliament and accepts the invitation offered through the Uluru Statement from the Heart, acknowledging that it was developed through consultation with First Nations people across Australia. First Nations people carry the knowledge and wisdom of 65,000 years living in harmony with the environment since creation. We believe their ancestors are due the respect they should have been accorded long ago and that now is the right time for Australia as a nation to show its respect. Sovereignty was never ceded.
The Hope Street staff and Board are committed to the principles of self-determination, social justice, access, and equity. We commit to walk hand in hand with our First Nations people, partners, and allies, to yarning, listening, learning, and owning our responsibility for educating ourselves, and enhancing our knowledge. In doing so we aim to strengthen cultural safety for First Nations young people and their children accessing our services.
The Voice to Parliament offers a way forward to listening to and working with First Nations people, to valuing their spirituality, presence, knowledge and wisdom and their contribution to this country. The Voice being enshrined in the nation’s constitution, offers a permanency that cannot be removed easily. This mechanism will hold the current and future Federal governments to account, and it will not impact First Nations sovereignty. It is time for First Nations people to have a real say in the policies and programs which are about their lives and affect them.
Drawing on our values of; Fairness, Collaboration, Social Justice, Integrity, Diversity and Hope, we stand in solidarity with First Nations people, partners, and allies, committed to ongoing learning, identifying ways of how and where we can improve our ongoing commitment.
Acknowledging Australia’s unjust and brutal history of colonisation, as well as current injustices targeted at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, we state that:
It’s time for the Voice to Parliament to be enshrined in the constitution.
It’s time to gather allies, friends, and supporters to build the momentum.
It’s time to show First Nations people the depth of support and allyship for them.
It’s time to strengthen our commitment to Reconciliation.
Let us join together; to make history, to be a participant of more universally just solutions, and to work toward achieving a unified Australia. Join us in voting YES.
Images sourced from the Uluru Statement from the Heart Supporter Kit, accessible via https://ulurustatement.org/take-action/supporter-kit/