THE HON STEPHEN JONES MP
MINISTER FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES
MEMBER FOR WHITLAM
The Southern Highlands community will gather at the Bowral Memorial Hall this evening to receive further information about The Voice to Parliament.
More than 200 local residents have registered to attend the Bowral Community Voice Forum, which comes ahead of the upcoming referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Constitution. The Voice is primarily centred around this recognition, as well as listening to communities.
Hosted by Member for Whitlam Stephen Jones, the event will feature former Liberal Opposition Leader and Professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy at ANU, Dr John Hewson and a Welcome to Country by Jesse Saunders.
The forum will commence from 6pm and outline why constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through The Voice is a crucial step in the walk towards reconciliation as a country. It will also feature a Q&A session for Southern Highlands locals to raise any questions they may have.
What is the Voice?
- The Voice will be an independent representative advisory body, made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people chosen by local communities.
- The Voice will give independent advice to Parliament and Government on the issues affecting Indigenous communities, which will lead to better outcomes.
Quotes attributable to Stephen Jones, Member for Whitlam:
“This marks the beginning of an important discussion around The Voice to Parliament and what it means for our community. I’m sure many Southern Highlands residents have questions, and tonight is about providing clear information ahead of the referendum later this year.”
“I am pleased to be joined by former Liberal Opposition Leader, Dr John Hewson who will no doubt have some fascinating insights to share. Dr Hewson is a Southern Highlands local and understands the importance of our community gathering to discuss efforts by Australia to deliver better outcomes for First Nations people.
“The Voice is about recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have roamed this country for over 65,000 years. We need to close the gap. Whether it’s education, health, housing or employment, we can do better.”