It’s union business

A First Nations Voice is a historical step towards true reconciliation. The Voice will provide a simple, fair and unifying message.

The IEU supports a ‘yes’ referendum outcome to enshrine a First Nations Voice in the Australian Constitution.

The Government’s planned referendum, to be held later this year, provides an historic opportunity for the Australian community to embrace the true spirt of reconciliation.

Our First Nations people deserve to be heard and listened to on laws that directly impact them and their communities.

Our union has previously committed our supportfor the Uluru Statement from the Heart when it was developed in 2017. It’s now time for the next step – a successful ‘yes’ referendum outcome needed to enshrine a constitutional voice.

Australian unions have a long tradition of fighting to support the rights of First Nations peoples.

The IEU has proudly stood in support of greater recognition and respect for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, within their workplaces and the broader community.

Unions believe in greater consultation, representation and inclusion. A First Nations Voice aligns with these core values and would provide a permanent line of communication and engagement between Indigenous people and the Government.

A set of principles for the Voice has been developed by the Referendum Working Group and clearly details how the Voice will operate within a simple and well-considered model.

The IEU represents many First Nations workers in schools, Indigenous community colleges, training institutions and early childhood education centres. These members, along with all Indigenous people, deserve a voice on proposed laws and policies that affect them.

For too long Parliament has imposed laws on Indigenous people without proper consultation. A Voice to Parliament is a common-sense and modest proposal.

The United States, New Zealand, Canada and many other nations have constitutional recognition of their Indigenous people. A mature and developed democracy such as Australia has no excuse to fail this long overdue change.

A Voice will help tackle discrimination and inequality. It will help refocus the collective effort needed to Close The Gap of disadvantage, including urgent action on failing education targets.

The IEU proudly commits to supporting our First Nations members and their communities by supporting the ‘Yes’ campaign.

The Voice is a body that will:

  • provide independent advice to Parliament and Government
  • be chosen by First Nations people based on the wishes of local communities
  • be representative of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • be empowering, community led, inclusive, respectful, culturally informed and gender balanced, and include youth
  • be accountable and transparent, and
  • work alongside existing organisations and traditional structures.

The Voice will not have a program delivery function, or a veto power.

Support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart

At its AGM in October 2020 the IEUA NSW/ACT Branch passed the following motion:

“IEUA NSW/ACT Branch acknowledges the Uluru Statement from the Heart and supports a referendum for constitutional reforms to establish a First Nations voice enshrined in the constitution.”

The Uluru statement takes hope and translates it into positive action, enshrining a First Nations’ voice to Parliament and establishing a Makarrata Commission (meaning coming together after a struggle) to advise on agreement making and truth telling between governments and First Nations people.

Teaching Resources

The Edmund Rice Centre has Uluru Statement from the Heart resources.

These two resource kits have been developed by the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education to assist schools and community groups to understand and raise awareness about the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Uluru Statement from the Heart Resource Kit for Teachers

The Resource Kit for Teachers is designed to assist teachers to introduce the Uluru Statement from the Heart to their students by raising awareness about its content and messages. It also provides information, resources, and creative activities for learning:

  • background information about the uluru statement from the heart
  • introductory activities and reflections for staff groups, or classes
  • creative arts activities for individuals, groups or classes.

Uluru Statement Discussion Resource Kit

The Discussion Resource Kit is designed to assist young adult and adult community groups to understand as well as raise awareness of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. It provides a series of articles, resources, and questions to stimulate group discussion.

You can download the documents from the links below: Uluru Statement from the Heart Resource Kit for Teachers (

Uluru Statement Discussion Resource Kit


It is hoped that these resource kits will act as a catalyst in developing education and raising awareness about what is meant by Voice to Parliament, Truth Telling and Treaty and to bring about justice and real reconciliation for First Nations People.