This year’s referendum on a Voice to Parliament will give all Australians the chance to change our constitution to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have a say on policies that impact their lives.
On Wednesday 30 August, shortly after the Prime Minister announced the date for the referendum on the Voice to Parliament, DCA members came together for a very moving fifth Anna McPhee Memorial D&I Oration in Melbourne.
A full house listened to an address on the upcoming referendum given by Professor Tom Calma AO, Aboriginal Elder, co-author of the Indigenous Voice Co-design Process Report and 2023 Senior Australian of the Year.
Check out the Oration highlights video
View the Oration given by Professor Tom Calma AO
View Ming Long AM's Oration opening address
The event commenced with a moving Yidaki performance by Kiernan Ironfield and a thought-provoking Welcome to Country by Aunty Mandy Nicholson. A stirring introduction by DCA’s Chair, Ming Long AM followed. She spoke of the importance of leadership from businesses to not only support employees through the debate but also in providing information and resources.
Professor Tom Calma AO gave an inspiring Oration that encompassed the importance of the referendum for reconciliation in Australia, the journey to this moment in history, guiding principles behind the proposed change to the constitution and the many reasons for voting Yes.
Receiving a standing ovation, Professor Calma’s Oration was followed by a lively panel discussion led by Prof Nareen Young, Associate Dean UTS Business School and Professor for Indigenous Policy at the UTS Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research and featuring:
- Professor Tom Calma AO,
- Antoinette Braybrook AM, CEO, Djirra,
- Ian Hamm, Chairperson of First Nations Foundation, and
- Julie Canepa, Director Digital Transformation Asia Pacific, Cisco.
DCA Oration photography supplied by Brent Lukey