Women for Election: Statement on The Voice Referendum

With democracy in our DNA and a mission to increase diversity at all levels of government, Women for Election is embracing the upcoming referendum on 14 October with deep hope and optimism. We encourage all voters to be active in a respectful and educated debate on this important issue, regardless of political affiliation.

As Women for Election seeks to support women of all political persuasions in federal, state and local government, we must be non-partisan to succeed in this mission. Our role cannot be to tell you how to vote.

We believe, however, that the decisions taken at all levels of government must represent who we are as a country, in the richness of our diversity. This commitment to diversity not only enriches our policymaking but ensures that the aspirations of communities are woven into the fabric of our national discourse and governance. Women for Election wholeheartedly believe there is a need to increase diversity amongst candidates and those representing us in government, including greater First Nations representation.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart was a catalyst for this referendum. It is the result of an exhaustive democratic and consultative process and is a generous invitation from First Nations people to walk with them in a movement for a better future for all Australians. The process it sets out for Voice, Treaty, Truth is a call that deserves our respect and utmost attention.

Women for Election chooses to walk on this journey.

First Nations women must face unique and myriad barriers to get elected, or even stand as candidates. Women for Election has been intentional in supporting First Nations women to run for public office by working with our First Nations partners to run candidate training programs. This training will expand to Alice Springs, the Kimberley, Darwin, Katherine, Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait in the coming year.

Serving our democratic ideals, Women for Election believes that the Voice to Parliament should transcend party lines, and we encourage all voters to be active in a respectful, educated debate on this important issue, regardless of political affiliation.

We commend the following great resources that can steer voters to make an informed decision and respectful debate: