Inner West leads the way in educating about the Voice to Parliament
Wednesday 25January 2023
While the forces opposed to a Voice to Parliament are attempting to muddy the waters with claims of a lack of information, the Inner West Council has been training 1000 local citizens to go out into the community and educate their neighbours about the Voice and its importance to the nation.
The training program commenced in November and 500 people have already completed the 3 hour workshop with another 500 due to complete the training by the end of March.
This grassroots movement has been joined by forty one Mayors from 7 states and territories across the country, who have also committed to civic education of their communities about the importance of the referendum.
Inner West Mayor, Darcy Byrne, said local government has a crucial role to play.
“While those who are fundamentally opposed to the Uluru Statement from the Heart play destructive culture war games in the media, we believe that public awareness about this historic referendum will be built from the grassroots up. It’s why we have been training 1000 of our citizens to go out into their communities to help educate people about the fundamental importance of the Voice to Parliament.
“It’s encouraging that 40 other Mayors from across the continent, representing urban, regional and remote communities, have come together to commit to informing and educating communities and starting conversations in suburbs and towns throughout Australia.”
From the Heart campaigner, Thomas Mayo said, “It’s fantastic to see this support from so many councils around the country.
“It is local community support that will drive a successful referendum campaign, so ensuring communities are properly informed about the proposal is vital. We look forward to the opportunity of partnering with councils on this initiative.”
Mayors for the Voice to Parliament Public Statement
We the undersigned endorse the Uluru Statement from the Heart and support constitutional recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through a Voice to Parliament.
As local leaders we are committed to building awareness in our communities about the upcoming referendum.
Our citizens should be informed about what constitutional recognition through a Voice to Parliament will mean for Indigenous people and Australian society as a whole.
Local government must play an important role in holding civic forums, promoting dialogue, and providing a platform for Indigenous voices to be heard in the debate.
We believe that a successful referendum can be a unifying achievement for Australia.
We are ready to work with all levels of government to educate and inform our communities about why this referendum is such an important moment for our nation.
Signed by the following mayors (updated 27 March):
Bruce Lancashire Brimbank City Council (Vic)
Amanda Findley Shoalhaven City Council (NSW)
Laura Binks Strathbogie Shire Council (Vic)
Hadi Saab City of Kingston (Vic)
Eden Foster Greater Dandenong City Council (Vic)
John Medcalf OAM Lachlan Shire Council (NSW)
Emma Cole City of Vincent (WA)
Heather Holmes-Ross City of Mitcham (SA)
Dr Mary Duniam Waratah-Wynyard Council (Tas)
Chris Homer Shellharbour Council (NSW)
Anna Reynolds Hobart City Council (Tas)
Ben Ramcharan Nillumbik Shire Council (Vic)
Lisa Lake Cumberland Council (NSW)
Kenrick Winchester Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (NSW)
Danny Gibson City of Launceston (Tas)
Dylan Parker Randwick City Council (NSW)
Maree Statham Lithgow City Council (NSW)
Tony Bleasdale OAM Blacktown City Council (NSW)
Peter Castaldo Banyule City Council (Vic)
Zoe Baker North Sydney Council (NSW)
Donna Davis City of Parramatta (NSW)
Michael Kerr Douglas Shire Council (Qld)
Andrew Zbik Lane Cove Council (NSW)
Christina Curry Bayside Council (NSW)
Nick Katris Georges River Council (NSW)
Michael Whelan Bass Coast Shire Council (Vic)
Clover Moore City of Sydney (NSW)
Isabelle Tolhurst Borough of Queenscliffe (Vic)
Rhys Williams City of Mandurah (WA)
Tony Jack Roper Gulf Regional Council (NT)
Nuatali Nelmes City of Newcastle (NSW)
Khal Asfour Canterbury Bankstown (NSW)
Keri Tamwoy Aurukun Shire Council (Qld)
Charlie Sheahan Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council (NSW)
Mark Greenhill Blue Mountains City Council (NSW)
Des Hudson City of Ballarat (Vic)
Jay Suvaal Cessnock City Council (NSW)
Stephen Allan Bellingen Shire Council (NSW)
Sarah Carter Maribyrnong City Council (Vic)
Kevin Beatty Cabonne Council (NSW)
Paula Masselos Waverley Council (NSW)
Jason Hamling Orange City Council (NSW)
Peter Scott Cook Shire Council (Qld)
Hon George Gear JP City of Melville (WA)
Darcy Byrne Inner West Council (NSW)
For media enquiries please contact Jonny Browne at Jonny.Browne@innerwest.nsw.gov.au