The Australian Institute of Architects is throwing its weight behind the Yes campaign in support of Constitutional Recognition of First Nations Peoples and the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
Following strong support from its governing Board and National Council, the Institute has announced its endorsement of the Uluru Statement.
The Institute’s Immediate Past-National President Shannon Battisson said the 2017 Uluru Statement was a visionary document that represented an invitation to all Australians to build a better future for our nation.
“Constitutional recognition of First Nations Peoples is not only a moral imperative but also a crucial step towards rectifying the deep-seated historical injustices ingrained in our nation’s past,” she said.
“The Institute firmly believes the establishment of a Voice to Parliament is an essential first step towards achieving reconciliation and upholding First Nations’ rights to self-determination.”
The Institute’s support for the Uluru Statement extends to its three fundamental reforms: Voice, Treaty and Truth.
“The issue of supporting the Voice to Parliament is not a matter of politics but one based on principle,” she said.
“Our support for the Yes campaign aligns with the Institute’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation and reflects a just and inclusive approach to decision-making processes that impact First Nations people.”
This advocacy builds on the Institute’s 2020 inclusion of a statement of recognition in the organisation’s own constitution, and a First Nations voice within its governance structure.
“The referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament will be an historic once-in-a-generation event,” Ms Battisson said.
“There will be ongoing discussion and debate, and diverse opinions and disagreements.
“We understand and respect that not everyone will support the Institute’s position.
“As a democratic society, people are free to form their own views and inform themselves of the issues.
“Whether or not people choose to vote in favour of the Voice is a matter for each individual.”
The Institute’s is implementing its 2021-2023 Strategic Plan, which sets out a range actions to lead by example on respectful relationships with First Nations Peoples, align policy and advocacy approaches with First Nations values and priorities, and work to anticipate member needs and deliver guidance and support to the architecture profession regarding responsibilities to First Nations Peoples.
For further information, please contact: Rosanne Barrett on behalf of the Australian Institute of Architects
M. +61 (0) 425 420 024 | email@example.com
This statement is endorsed by the Institute’s First Nations Advisory Committee (FNAC). The Committee’s co-chairs, Sarah Lynn Rees and Paul Memmott led a consultation process with its 14 Committee and Cultural Reference Panel members. This also involved the Committee’s Indigenous Researcher who carefully read, reviewed and disseminated a selected range of published arguments about the proposed Referendum, both positive and negative views, for the members’ consideration, and then prepared a summary list of points eliciting the ‘For’ and ‘Against’ cases.
After deliberation, the FNAC members came to a consensus and decided in unison to support the ‘For’ case, and assisted Institute staff to draft this position statement to present to the Board and then the National Council of the Institute who have both similarly supported the ‘Yes’ case in the forthcoming National Referendum.