The Indigenous Strategy and Services (ISS) portfolio and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music released statements of support for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament yesterday. The Conservatorium’s statement was shared with Honi directly before being published, and the ISS portfolio’s can be found online.
The statement from the ISS portfolio, headed by Deputy Vice Chancellor Lisa Jackson-Pulver, comes after similar announcements from a majority of faculties and schools — including Law, Medicine and Health, and Chemistry — the University Senate and University management, with more statements expected to be released in the leadup to the referendum (which was yesterday called for October 14).
The portfolio “endorses the Uluru Statement from the Heart and supports the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through a Voice to Parliament.
“We remain resolute in our commitment to cultivating understanding and awareness across our University to ensure that our diverse communities, encompassing staff, students, and our broader community, are well-informed about the implications of constitutional recognition through a Voice to Parliament.”
Read Honi’s investigation into how the University continues to fail Indigenous staff here.
The Conservatorium’s statement, attributed to Dean and Head of School Professor Anna Reid, resolves to “stand in support of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a constitutionally enshrined Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament”.
Despite broad criticism of the strategy, the Conservatorium asserts that “a constitutionally enshrined Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament benefits all Australians and aligns with the principles of the One Sydney, Many People Strategy.”
As the Yes23 movement begins a six-week campaign blitz, the University is facing growing pressure from students to back the Voice to Parliament. More faculties — including the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, who are meeting on 7 September to consider their position — are expected to release statements on the Voice in the coming weeks.