The Voice Referendum 2023
Saturday 14th October 2023
“A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
Do you approve this proposed alteration?”
The below timetable provides the key dates for the administration of the 2023 referendum.
Monday 11 September - Issue of writ (Formal commencement of the referendum)
Monday 11 September - Postal vote applications open.
8pm Monday 18 September - Close of rolls
Monday 25 September - Remote voting begins
Monday 2 October - Early voting centres open (NT, TAS, VIC & WA)
Tuesday 3 October - Early voting centres open (ACT, NSW, QLD & SA)
6pm Wednesday 11 October - Postal vote applications close
Saturday 14 October - Referendum day
Friday 27 October - Last day for the receipt of postal votes
Are high schoolers ready for the referendum
An invitation to the Australian people
An audio version of The Statement from the Heart read by prominent First Nations Peoples.
Click on the image for a PDF version of The Statement from the Heart
Four short videos from some well-known figures answering questions such as ‘What is Indigenous constitutional recognition? And ‘why is a referendum needed?’
Statement of the proposed changes to be made to the Constitution
The proposed law, being the Constitution Alteration (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice) 2023, would change the Constitution by inserting the following text after Chapter VIII:
Chapter IX—Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
129 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice
In recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia:
(i) there shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice;
(ii) the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to the Parliament and the Executive Government of the Commonwealth on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
(iii) the Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws with respect to matters relating to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice, including its composition, functions, powers and procedures.
The proposed law would also change the Constitution by inserting the following text into the Table of Contents in the Constitution, after the reference to ‘Chapter VIII Alteration of the Constitution’:
Chapter IX Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
Click on the image for the official Yes/No arguments.
The AEC is required to distribute a pamphlet to Australian voters, containing the Yes and No cases prepared by parliamentarians who voted for and against the proposed law.
Each case had to consist of no more than 2,000 words. Each case also had to be authorised by a majority of the members of Parliament who voted, respectively, for and against the proposed change to the Constitution. The Electoral Commissioner is satisfied that these conditions have been met for each case. The AEC does not have legislative authority to edit, amend or fact check the Yes or No cases
Both libraries house a First Nation Collection. Resources about the voice can found within that collection.
Tony Armstrong reads from an important picture book about the Uluru Statement. Written by Thomas Mayor and illustrated by Blak Douglas, Finding Our Heart is a story about the history of our country. This book can be found in the Bluff Road Library.
Holloway Road Library has a display of the Yes and No arguments.