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A voice in reconciliation week

01 June 2023

This year on Policy Forum Pod we have focused on the importance on The Voice to Parliament referendum, the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and the work being done by thousands to give indigenous peoples hope for a better future. This reconciliation week we have compiled four recent episodes here so you can listen to our incredibly talented guests talk about the issues Australia is facing and the hope they all have for the future. The nation is edging closer to the referendum, so as the campaigns ramp up, Policy Forum Pod will be here, bringing you conversations with key people driving change.

Courting Change: Indigenous reconciliation

We started off the year talking to Professor Kate Auty. She is a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne and Chair of Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority. She has formerly held appointments as a magistrate in Victoria where she helped establish the Koori Court in Shepparton, and in the goldfields and western desert of Western Australia, establishing Aboriginal sentencing courts in consultation with Aboriginal people WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the following program contains discussion of deceased persons. This episode recounts some aspects of Australian history that are violent and some listeners may find disturbing. You can listen to Professor Kate Auty’s episode here

Lessons from South Australia’s Voice to Parliament

We followed up the conversation with Professor Auty, by speaking to Dale Agius, South Australia’s inaugural Commissioner for First nations Voice. Dale is a Kaurna, Narungga, Ngadjuri and Ngarrindjeri person with connection to communities and Country across South Australia. In the episode he talks about how South Australia’s Voice to Parliament can be used as a template to understand the need for our national referendum. He explains how in his more than 40 public community consultations he keeps hearing the call from indigenous people to “give us enough autonomy and self-determination in our legislation for our people to feel safe” and to feel they have the ability to talk straight to the parliament.

You can listen to Dale Agius’ episode here

Beacon of Democracy: The strength of listening

From South Australian Parliament to Federal Politics, Sharon Bessell and Arnagretta Hunter next had a broad discussion with Helen Haines, the Independent MP for Indi. She talks about how people in regional Australia are reacting to the Voice Referendum and the power of the Uluru Statement of the Heart and how her constituents are reacting to the possibility of a changed constitution. You can listen to Helen Haines’ episode here:

Behind the scenes of change

On this episode, we spoke to Rachel Perkins, a film and television director on her dedication telling indigenous stories and the Voice to Parliament. The future of the country is in the hands of the Australian People, Rachel says. “We put our trust in the Australian people and hopes in the Australian people because we have had our trust and hopes shattered so many times by the government.” WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander listeners are warned that the following podcast contains stories about deceased persons. You can listen to Rachel Perkin’s episode here:

Policy Forum Pod is produced by PolicyForum.net at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. Sharon Bessell is a Professor of Public Policy and Director of both the Children’s Policy Centre and the Poverty and Inequality Research Centre at ANU Crawford School of Public Policy.

Arnagretta Hunter is the Human Futures Fellow at ANU College of Health and Medicine, a cardiologist, physician, and a Senior Clinical Lecturer at ANU Medical School.

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