Statement of Support for the Referendum on a Voice to Parliament

Our first value at Surfers for Climate that guides our sea-roots movement for positive climate action is to recognise the ‘true locals’. This is where our work starts. We believe that sustainable climate action is not possible without addressing climate justice. As we do the work, we honour and learn from First Nations connection to Country and culture.
Everyone deserves to be treated with equal respect and dignity, and we find ourselves in a moment in time when there’s an opportunity to rewrite the definition of who we are. It’s a rare moment, one that asks the best of us.
There will be a vote to change the constitution of Australia and embrace a First Nations Voice to Parliament, which will mean that humanity’s oldest continuous surviving culture will have the right to have a say about policies regarding their collective wellbeing.
We recognise that the colonial system brought to this landscape some 230 years ago is the same system that has brought us to the ecological crisis we find ourselves in today. It is this same system that has devastated First Nations people throughout the history of colonial Australia and which today still sees inequality thrive. We need to shift practices and systems as a whole, to shift justice as a whole. 
Over the next decade, we believe that positive climate action will be strengthened by formalising and amplifying the voice of our ‘true locals’ who understand what it takes to preside over thriving oceans and coastlines - having done it for millennia.   
Do we at Surfers for Climate believe that a Voice to Parliament is the end of the ride for respect and reconciliation?
It is just the take off on a wave of positive change. 
We acknowledge that a Voice to Parliament enshrined by the constitution is only one of many steps we need to take as a nation, and as an ally in solidarity with First Nations communities, Surfers for Climate supports the ‘yes’ campaign and encourages the entire surfing community to jump on the party wave of voice, treaty and truth with us.


Please also see below some existing YES Campaign resources that may support your efforts to continue to engage your community in the referendum and mobilise for a resounding YES:

Yes23 have released a conversation guide and other resources to support community engagement such as social media and email templates and merchandise.

Passing the Message Stick have developed research and guidance on accessible and actionable messaging on the referendum and Voice to Parliament, please access the briefing here and the report here.

Life without Barriers have developed translated referendum resources in over 45 languages. You can find the tool kits to support the implementation of these translated resources here.

Together, Now have developed a model to bring people together and hold Kitchen Table Conversations about Voice and the referendum. You can find more about the facilitation guide and model here.

If music is your thing, have a listen to these couple of tunes:

Ziggy Ramo "Little Things"

Spinifex Gum "Ms Dhu"

Got some laundry to fold? Dinner to make? Getting your steps in? Check out these podcasts:

The Voice Referendum Explained 

Blak Matters 

Lawyer Eddie Synot breaks down major misinformation about the Voice

The Voice bill has passed the Senate - so what happens next?

Why the Voice is the right change for the Australian Constitution

If you need the actual detail, then have read of these:

The Uluru Statement (Marcia’s first reading) 

Kerry O’Brien and Thomas Mayo the Voice booklet (also an audio book)

Stan Grant ‘Letter to my Country’ book

Paul Callaghan (Worimi man) ‘The Dreaming Path’

The Australian Constitution (it’s actually quite short)

If you just need to sit back at the end of the day and chill in front of the TV, then watch:

Surfing Mob stories up the east coast Changing Tides on the ABC

The Frontier Wars (SBS On Demand)

Film: In my blood it runs 

Kerry and Thomas Mayo at Byron community Center here

Back to blog