A Voice to Parliament is about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people advising on matters that affect them.

This means a Voice to Parliament is core business of viral hepatitis elimination.

It is well established that when Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities advise and drive matters that affect them there are better outcomes.

When it comes to matters that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, they are the affected community.

Affected communities being at the table and advising on matters that affect them is a long-established practice with a strong evidence base.

Affected communities’ advice and leadership is reflected in global, national and state/territory viral hepatitis policy.

Meaningful involvement of affected communities and partnership are the foundational principles of Australia’s hepatitis B and hepatitis C responses.

Australia is a world leader in its blood borne virus responses - this is because it has always had affected communities at the table – providing advice to ensure the response is meaningful and gets to the people who need it.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to be priority populations in the soon to be finalised Fourth National Hepatitis B Strategy 2022-2023 and Sixth National Hepatitis C Strategy 2023-2030.

All Australian Health Ministers have committed to achieving hepatitis B and hepatitis C elimination by 2030.

To achieve the 2030 viral hepatitis elimination goals, greater action must be taken, and new ways of working must be implemented to address health and other inequities experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people need to determine what is best for them including in relation to viral hepatitis elimination.

Structural reform is needed to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to have a greater say and authority over the decisions that impact them.

Structural reform means making real changes to the way decisions are made and by who.

Enshrining an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament in the Constitution is one form of structural reform.

These are necessary conditions for Australia to achieve its goal of eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030.

Hepatitis Australia’s Members Forum on the Voice to Parliament

Hepatitis Australia convened a Members Forum to discuss involvement and communications relating to the Voice and the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

The members' meeting included information on:

Thank you to all our members for their engagement. We look forward to continuing conversations about this important topic.

Member CEOs will receive a follow-up email with some additional resources including current data related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and viral hepatitis.

As requested at the forum, Hepatitis Australia will continue to distribute information and resources to support membership and key stakeholder engagement.

Group photo via Zoom

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Support for the Voice:

Independent research consistently shows more than 80% of First Nations People support the Voice.

Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations have published statements in support of a constitutional Voice to parliament. You can read some of these below:

Enrol to vote by Monday 18 September 2023

We encourage everyone to ensure they are enrolled to vote at the referendum.

The deadline for enrolling to vote and updating or changing your details on the electoral roll for the 2023 referendum is 8pm, Monday 18 September 2023.

Visit the Australian Electoral Commission for further information including:

Provisional enrolment for potential new citizens

If you are scheduled to attend your citizenship ceremony on or before Saturday 14 October 2023, then you can complete the provisional enrolment form to enrol as a new citizen ahead of the referendum.

Your completed form must be received by 8pm local time on the close of roll for the 2023 referendum.

Translated and accessible information

The Australian Electoral Commission has information available in a variety of languages and formats to help everyone understand enrolling and voting in Australia.

Authorised by C Fowlie, Hepatitis Australia, 4/6b Thesiger Ct, Deakin ACT 2600.