Why EQI supports the Voice to Parliament
At The Equality Institute (EQI) our vision is a world in which diversity is celebrated, all people are respected, and power and privilege are shared. We work towards this vision with colleagues, clients, partners, communities and friends, all over the globe, and from our offices in Naarm (Melbourne), Mpartnwe (Alice Springs) and Timor-Leste.
Some time ago, we undertook a collaborative process with the support of many to create a meaningful Acknowledgement of Country for our organisation. We would like to share some of this here...
“We commit to Makarrata (a process of truth-telling and restoration, then healing, after a dispute), to acknowledge our collective histories and to listen deeply to Indigenous people’s stories and experiences, recognising that their traditional knowledges have been, and continues to be, an invaluable resource that benefits us all. We work – both internally within our organisation and externally with partners – to promote anti-racism and dismantle systems and structures of oppression. We do this knowing it will challenge us and require courage. Acknowledging the need to address systemic power imbalances and unequal power dynamics within partnerships, EQI will strive to work in fair and equal partnership with Indigenous communities and organisations.”
As a non-Indigenous organisation, we work with our Indigenous partners to support their aims and priorities as determined by them. We are also a values-led organisation, and we have made a commitment to have courageous conversations and to strive for equality. It is in this spirit, that we support the Voice to Parliament and the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
We know that the systems that govern Australia are deeply flawed; that they are designed to exclude and oppress marginalised communities including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We know that the ongoing impacts of colonisation continue to intersect with gender inequality, racial inequality and other forms of oppression, to disproportionately impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and people. We also know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are leaders and knowledge holders in determining the right solutions, and we believe this wisdom, leadership and deep knowledge should be respected, valued and recognised.
The Voice to Parliament is undoubtedly not the whole solution. It is not enough and it doesn’t end here but it is one step forward to a better future. And 80% of Indigenous Australians are in support of the Voice as the first step.
We believe it is one step forward towards a future where the vision we are working towards is possible. One step forward towards Treaty and Truth-Telling. One step forward as we continue to advocate and campaign for positive change. And we will continue to support and be directed by the Indigenous people of Australia and their priorities.
The land we live, work, and play on, always was and always will be Aboriginal land. We believe it’s time this is recognised in the Constitution that currently governs this country. And this is why we will be voting 'Yes' in the upcoming Referendum.