DCA acknowledges the outcome of the Voice referendum with enormous disappointment. While the result is not what we had hoped for, this is a time to hold space. We would like to express our ongoing solidarity with First Nations Australians.
Please be mindful that First Nations Australians who campaigned for the Voice to Parliament have called for a week of silence across the country to grieve and reflect.
Australia has missed the opportunity to enshrine an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in our constitution, a move that would have been a positive step toward Reconciliation by allowing First Nations peoples to have a say in policies that affect them.
Let us use this moment as a catalyst for even more determined efforts towards unity, understanding and recognition of First Nations voices – in the first instance by being mindful of and sensitive to the cultural load our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues and networks will be carrying.
For now, we would like to remind you to take these next few days to reflect, listen, and provide space for people to process this outcome. Many will be hurting and grieving in the aftermath of this decision.
Above all, we all need to acknowledge the increased cultural load and identity strain First Nations people have carried during this time and offer appropriate supports. A helpful resource is our recent event First Nations Identity Strain and Cultural Load at Work, which covers what organisations can do to support their people. This is now publicly available for all to view.
People will react in different ways – some may need to debrief while others may prefer not to talk about it at all. Be sensitive to each individual’s needs, take the time to listen to and support one another, but also respect people’s choices if they prefer not to discuss, or need space.
Workplaces must encourage supportive and respectful behaviour during this time, now more than ever.
In the meantime, we hope these helpful resources and tips will assist.