Burnet statement on Voice Referendum result
Burnet would like to express our disappointment at the outcome of Saturday’s referendum regarding enshrining a Voice to Parliament in Australia’s Constitution for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
We are committed to advocating for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and will continue to support them through our work. We will continue to strengthen our capacity for research to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
We will continue to listen to, and work with, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, to hear about their needs and work together to achieve better health outcomes.
Burnet Institute Chair, Mary Padbury, said she hoped other actions could still be taken to facilitate this, despite the referendum outcome.
“The result of Saturday’s referendum is disappointing. Burnet stands shoulder-to-shoulder with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander friends at this time,” she said.
“We need to work together to find a way forward and to ensure positive steps can still be taken to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have been disadvantaged for too long.”
Burnet Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb said alternative action was needed to reduce the enormous gap in health and life outcomes faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, after the result of the referendum.
“My first thoughts are with the communities that will feel devastated today, scars that are unlikely to heal any time soon. We stand in solidarity with a community of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are disappointed at the rejection of their modest ask,” Professor Crabb said.
“The proposal in the referendum was not imposed; it was what the majority of First Nations’ People considered deeply important and ultimately asked for. It is an enormous setback for Indigenous communities and for the country.”
“What comes next must reflect the wishes of those same communities. We stand with First Nations People in that effort.”
“This is a time of mourning for many and we recognise and respect the wishes of the Yes campaigners for a week of silence.”
Burnet is committed to working with governments, communities, and healthcare organisations to reduce health inequities and improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.