The Sisters of Saint Joseph are advocating for a National Voice for First Nations people to be enshrined in the Australian Constitution, as proposed in the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart.
The Sisters of St Joseph yesterday said they were “honoured to stand with first Nations Peoples and to affirm the Uluru Statement from the Heart”.
The Sisters said the statement’s call for the national voice and for a Makarrata Commission to supervise treaty-making are “reasonable, workable and judicious”.
Sr Monica Cavanagh, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of St Joseph said: “We know that the Uluru Statement was delivered to the Australian people in 2017, after extensive dialogue with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“It is the official voice of First Nations Australians, and as Josephites, we stand with our Indigenous brothers and sisters in advocating for the acceptance of the whole of the Statement. Critically, we believe that a national voice enshrined in the Constitutions is fundamental to this invitation.”
The Morrison Government has said it intends to legislate a national voice before the end of this term of Parliament, but that this will not include Constitutional recognition.
Josephites believe that legislation is not sufficient.
“A National Voice is not a third chamber of Parliament (as has been argued by opponents),” Sr Monica said.
“It’s a voice to Parliament, enshrined in the Constitutions, providing First Nations peoples with the opportunity to advise Parliament on issues related to them. As Josephites, we support both advocacy for the statement and awareness-raising among non-Indigenous Australians.”
Josephites proud to stand with First Nations Peoples (Sisters of Saint Joseph)