Shire of East Pilbara takes part in a Week of Action for referendum awareness

Published on Saturday, 18 February 2023 at 12:01:00 AM

The Shire of East Pilbara resolved to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart (the Statement) at its December 2022 Ordinary Council meeting and to promote the community’s opportunities to self-educate on Reconciliation and the upcoming referendum about First Nations Voice to Parliament.

This comes as an important step after the release of the Shire’s first Reconciliation Action Plan – Reflect in November 2022, which focuses on genuine and meaningful actions to support reconciliation in the East Pilbara.

“Here, on Country, where there is a history of troubled relationships, we can take real steps toward genuine partnership and trust. Remembering and acknowledge wrongs that have occurred, I believe we can work consciously and courageously to move beyond those wrongs, toward a place of reconciliation,” Cr Middleton said.

“To that end, as part of our reconciliation efforts, we wrote to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in December, in support of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and the Voice to Parliament. As part of the Shire’s support for Voice to Parliament and the upcoming referendum, we appealed to the Federal Government to give due consideration to fair representation from the inland desert community; particularly those within the most remote parts of Australia, the Western Desert.”

Shire President Anthony Middleton said the Shire’s participation in this call to action comes at an important time in the organisation’s history, as it begins a new step on its Reconciliation journey.

This week marks a Week of Action across Australia and the Shire urges community members to use this week as an education opportunity to make an informed decision regarding the upcoming referendum about First Nations Voice to Parliament.

The referendum will be seeking a Yes or No response to a question regarding a potential alteration to the Constitution to establish a First Nations Voice. Reconciliation Australia and Uluru Statement from the Heart have detailed resources for people to learn about the reasoning behind the referendum, and making an informed decision.

Moving forward, the Shire will meet with relevant stakeholders to share information and to identify opportunities to work together in the spirit of reconciliation.

“The Shire will continue to play an active role in truth-telling and promoting opportunities for the community to self-educate on matters of reconciliation and the Voice to Parliament,” Cr Middleton said.

“I would like to echo the invitation within the Uluru Statement from the Heart that invites everyone to walk a shared journey towards a better future for all Australians. I encourage everyone to be brave and open to learn more about First Nations culture and why the Uluru Statement and a First Nations Voice are so important. Take the time and make an informed decision when the referendum approaches.”

Uluru Statement from the Heart has free educational resources available to public inclusive of a short 15-minute interactive online training and the commencement of public yarning circles in the lead up to the referendum. 

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