More than 20 of Australia’s leading sports organisations have united in support of an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
Some of Australia’s leading codes including the AFL, Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia, Rugby Australia had already pledged their support, but too joined the representatives of other sports at the major press conference held across Melbourne and Sydney on Friday morning.
A joint open letter to Australian sporting fans signed by the sporting’s codes said, “we as a collective, support recognition through a Voice [and] believe our nation can achieve this profound recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first peoples of our country, in our Constitution”.
Reading the letter to the Australian people at the event were sportspeople Jade North, Mal Meninga, Jamie Pittman, Eddie Betts, Cath Cox AM, Andrew Gaze and Jason Gillespie.
The two-location event was joined by chairs, CEOs, players and legends of the 21 sports organisations a part of the commitment.
The Voice Referendum is expected to be held mid-October.
Australian Football League, Australian Taekwondo, Badminton Australia, Baseball Australia, Boxing Australia, Cricket Australia, Deaf Sport Australia, Football Australia, Golf Australia, PGA of Australia, Motorsport Australia, National Basketball League, National Rugby League, Netball Australia, No Limit Boxing, Rugby Australia, Sport Inclusion Australia, Tennis Australia, NRL Touch Football Australia, Triathlon Australia and Wheelchair Rugby League Australia.
Read the letter here:
“Dear Sports Fans of Australia,
We, the representatives of leading sport organisations in Australia, come together to make this statement to all Australians who love their sport:
Sport has always served as a unifying force for our diverse Australian society.
Regardless of where we come from or what we believe in, sport brings people together in the spirit of achievement, community, and celebration.
Moreover, sport plays a significant role in reconciling Australia.
It has long been a means for the inclusion and celebration of the incredible achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
This year, all Australians will have their say in a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
We, as a collective, support recognition through a Voice.
We believe our nation can achieve this profound recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first peoples of our country, in our Constitution.
And that we should do that by ensuring Indigenous Australians have a meaningful say in shaping their own future.
We commit to using our platforms to lead conversations that promote respect, trust and goodwill between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
We commit to improving education and understanding among the Australians who play, administer, and watch our sports.
We encourage all Australians who love sport to listen with an open heart and an open mind through this historic moment.
We respect that everyone is entitled to reach their own decision come the referendum.
Together we share a vision for the future as a nation that values equity, fairness and the rights of the Traditional Custodians of our land.
The land on which we play, love, and celebrate sport in Australia.”
Blak Matters provides an inclusive, authentic exploration of First Nations issues from a First Nations perspective. Delivered as an honest but positive conversation between friends, MC & Teela Reid, in under 20 minutes. Listen now on the Listnr app.