Moving forward with a voice in our affairs
From the SSTUWA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Committee
We have always known the power of building positive working relationships with Aboriginal people in our schools.
Ensuring that an Aboriginal family’s aspirations are reflected in school directions and students’ achievement have yielded the strongest outcomes. But governments change, and so does the political will.
This is too important to keep changing. As surmised by Thomas Mayo from that referendum working group: “we want this to be above politics, we are tired of having our lives used as a political football.”
Past practices such as ASSPA Committees, School Community Partnership Agreements and Aboriginal Advisory Councils all reflect the journey we have been on in ensuring the voice of our parents is reflected in the priorities and actions of schools and systems, but all have faded away with changes of government.
Enshrining our voice in the constitution is the only way to stop this and ensure we have a voice in our affairs and move forward as a reconciled nation.
We ask our members within the SSTUWA to walk with us and as educators, we are informed and accept the invitation that is at the heart of the Uluru Statement that specifically calls for a voice enshrined in the Australian Constitution.
This request has come after decades of activism by our people who have fought for a fair go and say in our own communities and in our own affairs.
We urge you to vote Yes.