OceanEarth Foundation acknowledges and pays respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Australia. We recognise that sovereignty was never ceded, that colonisation was unjust and often violent, and continues to adversely affect them today. We acknowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People hold deep and complex knowledge of, and rights to land and sea Country, developed through thousands of generations of caring for Country.
OceanEarth Foundation says ‘Yes’ to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice and supports the full implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart for a voice, treaty making and truth-telling. We continue to help create a better future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through working with our partners on our programs.
Australia’s rich and unique history has had 65,000 years of continuous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural connection to the land and sea. For 122 years however, Australia’s Constitution has not recognised Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People as the First Peoples of this continent. The Referendum provides the opportunity for us to provide that recognition. The Voice will give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People a say on the things that affect them.
The enduring strength and connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures to Country is an important asset and lesson for all of us. We need to learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures to better understand our relationship with, and dependency on, nature, that we are not separate to it, and through that lens, how to better protect and care for nature and each other.
As the First Peoples of Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices should be at the decision-making table and we need to listen and learn from them. When we listen to people, and draw on their local knowledge and expertise, we make better decisions. That is what the Voice is about – listening, making better decisions and improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, their children, and their communities. Done well this will improve decision making and outcomes for all Australians and our environment that supports and sustains us.
We need to accept, respect and learn from the past to create a fairer, more inclusive and more united society, where all voices are heard and valued. OceanEarth Foundation is committed to listening and learning from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and supporting First Nations-led advocacy, projects and research to better protect and restore our oceans, our landscapes and our wildlife. OceanEarth Foundation will continue to listen and learn, working together with Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and communities to restore the health of our oceans and lands which have suffered significantly from the impacts of over two centuries of colonisation and misunderstanding of Australia’s ecological and cultural values.
A Voice to Parliament is an important step towards Australia’s First Nations self-determination. OceanEarth Foundation is committed to reconciliation and actively encourages and supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People to manage their land and sea Country. Their knowledge and connection to Country is fundamental to transforming Australia to a nature positive, more climate resilient future.
For more information about the Voice to Parliament, we encourage you to look at: