audio calendar close compressed excel Group 2 Created with Sketch. image Group menu pdf pin play search ticket icon Created with Sketch. Group Created with Sketch. video word
Parliament house forecourt

A Voice to Parliament

The invitation still stands:

Walking together for a better future for First Peoples

The referendum results are now known and the proposed constitutional change to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice has not been passed.

At this time, we want to acknowledge the pain and grief this brings to many First Nations people, and amongst many in the wider Australian community. Tearfund’s decision to support the proposed constitutional change for recognition and the establishment of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice was developed in consultation with First Nations Christian leaders we work closely with in our church engagement and community development partnerships. We especially want to thank Uncle Gabriel Bani, Prof. Aunty Anne Pattel-Grey, Rev Uncle Mark Kickett, Uncle Pastor Dr Ray Minniecon, Aunty Sue Hodges, Safina Stewart, Bianca Manning and Aunty Ravina Waldren who have generously shared their wisdom and stories with us. We acknowledge and honour their extraordinary efforts, along with many others, to do the work of justice, healing and reconciliation in our nation. We know that some First Nations leaders are refraining from public comment for a time, and encourage non-Indigenous people to respect this need for space, whilst continuing to support efforts for justice for First Nations communities.

Regardless of how we each may have voted, the difficult path to this referendum has made clear the deep and ongoing need for the work of reconciliation to be done, and the need for all Australians to commit themselves to the task. The opportunities we have had during this time to talk with friends and family about our hopes for justice and reconciliation are something to be grateful for. So is the opportunity we now have to reflect on where we are as a nation, and who we want to be in the future. While the outcome of this referendum has been decided, the invitation expressed in the Uluru Statement of the Heart for all Australians to walk together towards a better future still beckons.

For Tearfund, our vision to see all people have the opportunity to achieve their God-given potential is a picture of this better future for which we pray, hope and strive. It is expressed in our support of First Nations-led community development initiatives, our education work with churches, and in coming alongside our First Nations sisters and brothers as allies in their advocacy.

We are grateful for the community of Tearfund supporters who share our commitment to this vision. We give thanks for your generous giving, and are encouraged by your faithfulness and fellowship in this work.

The work continues, as does the opportunity we each have to be Christ’s ambassadors for reconciliation, to be peacemakers and restorers. Please join us in prayer and in continuing to listen to the voices of our First Nations sisters and brothers, asking God to lead us all in grace and truth.

Historical information

Last updated 26/09/2023:

Be a voice for generations

The referendum on a First Nations Voice to parliament provides a significant opportunity to stand with First Nations people in pursuing a more just and equitable shared future.

Advocacy for systemic change plays a critical part in our pursuit of justice for all peoples. When we come together to say "Yes'' to a better future, we're responding to First Nations Christian elders who have encouraged us to live out our mission as Christ’s ambassadors of reconciliation.

Saying "Yes" to the Voice is an important step we can take towards justice for First Nations people and to help create momentum for even greater change.

Access a range of resources to help you and your church engage with the Voice referendum, including reflections from First Nations Christian leaders:

Tearfund Resource voice campaign kitchen table discussion guide 2

Voice Table Talk Conversation Guide

A Christian group conversation guide for supporting the Voice to Parliament.

Tearfund and Common Grace have collaborated to produce this group conversation guide on the Voice to Parliament referendum.

Training for using the Table Talk Conversations Guide: Recently we ran some training webinars to help people know how best to use this guide. If you would like a copy of the recording please contact us.

Download the guide
Tearfund Voice Yes Campaign Church Discussion Guide 4

Church Discussion Guide

A discussion guide for churches shaped by the voices of First Nations Christian leaders for your church to reflect on as we engage in conversation on how the church can contribute to further justice and reconciliation today.


More information and resources:

Latest Updates
Be a voice for generations

Resources to help you engage with the Voice referendum. Featuring Christian First Nations leaders, with opportunities to learn, reflect and respond.

Learn more
Tearfund Position Statement on the Referendum

Tearfund supports the case to vote ‘Yes’ to the referendum question of whether a First Nations Voice should be enshrined in the Constitution.

Learn more
Frequently Asked Questions
Learn more