Following the results of the Voice to Parliament referendum, Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) reaffirms our commitment to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities under the principles of self-determination and reconciliation.
While the ‘no’ result is greatly disappointing, we do not believe this result should close all routes to an Indigenous Voice being heard at Parliament. Further, no vote can change the truth of Aboriginal sovereignty.
The work doesn’t stop on this side of 14 October. All non-Indigenous people have a responsibility to understand the impact of this referendum, and continue listening deeply to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Our commitment to reconciliation in all areas must continue despite this outcome.
Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may now need time to process the result or to recover from some of the damaging and discriminatory rhetoric that has shadowed the referendum. We call on non-Indigenous people to recognise this and make space for healing.
We also encourage all youth organisations to continue empowering young people to be active members of society, providing them with factual and credible information so they can make informed decisions in our democracy.
YACVic continues to support the processes called for in the Uluru Statement from the Heart — Voice, Treaty, Truth.
We applaud the progress happening at a state level in Victoria in the Treaty negotiations between the First Peoples Assembly and the Victorian Government, and truth-telling being in the Yoorrook Justice Commission. We urge the federal government to follow this example.
If the referendum process and/or result has been heavy for you, support is available:
- Suicide Call Back Service: 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention via call on 1300 659 467, webchat or video chat.
- Lifeline: 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention via call on 13 11 14.
- 13YARN: 24/7 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander crisis support line via call on 13 92 76.
- Mental Health for Mob: non-crisis support for mob only via text on 0435 135 992 or Instagram DM at @MentalHealthForMob.
- YarnUp: wellbeing resources for First Nations young people.
- Kids Helpline: 24/7 helpline for anyone aged 5-25 via call on 1800 551 800, webchat or email.
- Beyond Blue: mental health support via call on 1300 224 636.
- headspace: support for young people aged 12-25 via call on 1800 650 890.
- MensLine Australia: counselling for Australian men via call on 1300 789 978 or online chat.
- QLife: anonymous LGBTIQA+ support via call on 1800 184 527 or webchat.
Media contact: Katia Pellicciotta (she/her), YACVic Media & Communications Coordinator on 9267 3744 or KPellicciotta@YACVic.org.au
About Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic)
Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) is the peak body and leading policy advocate for young people aged 12-25 and the youth sector in Victoria. Established in 1960, YACVic advocates for the rights of young people in Victoria to ensure they are active, visible and valued in their communities.