The purpose of this page is to provide resources and information from a diverse range of voices on the issue of Indigenous Reconciliation. We do this in preparation for our first NewHope Family Forum.
We are aware that this issue is dynamic and ever-changing. We are also aware that there are a range of thoughts and opinions from all sides, so we invite you to lean in, listen deeply and seek to learn, so that we may engage with the conversation in a way that honours one another and glorifies Christ.
Please explore the resources below and if you are a part of the NewHope family, we invite you to register for the Family Forum and make a plan to attend.
The Voice to Parliament
One of the current issues around Indigenous Reconciliation at present is The Voice to Parliament vote.
The questions that will be put to the Australian people at the 2023 referendum will be:
“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?”
According to the Australian Government website (niaa.gov.au) the Voice will be an independent, representative advisory body for First Nations people. It will provide a permanent means to advise the Australian Parliament and Government on the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on matters that affect them.
A set of principles that describe how the Voice will work were agreed to by the First Nations Referendum Working Group. 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
- work alongside existing organisations and traditional structures
The Voice will not have a program delivery function, or a veto power.
The structure and role of the Voice would be decided by Parliament through legislation, with members to be chosen by First Nations people.
You can read more and see the latest press release from the Australian Government on their website (niaa.gov.au).
“There is no doubt we should be listening to voices from both sides of the debate. We will all benefit from that but these two particular issues that are currently being used as roadblocks are not things that should distract us from considering our response to what a Voice to Parliament will mean for our First Nations people and for our nation as a whole.”
– Tim Costello
Tim Costello offers reflects on two of the current concerns around The Voice to Parliament, detail and race. Read More.
Other Resources on The Voice to Parliament
Links to Indigenous Voices reflecting both ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ on The Voice:
Raising Indigenous voices on a Voice to parliament – The Age
What are Aboriginal people saying about the Voice to Parliament? – ABC News
Political Campaign websites for the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigns:
Aust Govt Voice website https://voice.niaa.gov.au/
From The Heart https://fromtheheart.com.au/
Recognise a Better Way https://www.recogniseabetterway.org.au/
Common Grace – Listen to the Heart
A Just Cause (part of the Baptist movement) has produced a great collection of resources too. ajustcause.org.au/first-nations
Many of the above resources come from the excellent Consultation Pack prepared by the Baptist Union of Victoria. We invite you to engage with the whole pack where you will find additional information and resources. Read More.
‘Waters of Baptism’
Robin (Goma) Conlon | 2012.
This picture depicts young men and women coming to the next phase of baptism through water. The people on the edge are the leaders and witnesses taking people waiting to be baptised. The red dots represent the blood of Jesus and the black dots behind depict the world on which they have turned their backs as they now look to their future in Christ. The white dots in the centre represent the presence of God in this place.