An Indigenous Voice to Parliament: Considering a Constitutional Bridge (Paperback)
Australians will soon be asked to vote in a referendum asking: Do you support an alteration to the Constitution that establishes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice?
Frank Brennan has been an advocate for Indigenous rights for 40 years. In An Indigenous Voice to Parliament, he explores the difficult path travelled by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and their supporters to get to this question.
In the past, advocates argued for changes to Commonwealth Parliament's powers to legislate for Indigenous Australians and to the capacity of the High Court to strike down racially discriminatory laws. They also sought changes to the Constitution that would acknowledge Indigenous history, reality, and aspirations.
All those proposals are now replaced with the Voice. But is it to be a Voice to Parliament or a Voice to Parliament and to Government? Would the focus be only on special laws applying to First Australians, or on any other relevant matters?
An Indigenous Voice to Parliament fairly outlines both the 'Yes' case and the 'No' case, so that voters can make up their own minds before casting their vote in the referendum.