Recent calls to enshrine an “Indigenous Voice” to Parliament in the Constitution, and to hold a referendum to amend the Constitution accordingly, have been made by a small number of large corporations, sections of the media, and the political class.

The Institute of Public Affairs opposes the proposal to hold a referendum which would ask Australians to divide themselves by race. Even just asking the question risks permanently dividing Australians according to the colour of their skin.

Many Indigenous communities face a range of challenges, from high unemployment, violence, and high rates of incarceration. But the solutions to these problems are the same for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians: access to the dignity of work, crime free communities, stable families, access to home ownership, and economic opportunity. These pillars underpin human flourishing regardless of race.

Australia’s political, business, and community leaders must outline a vision for a united and successful Australia, rather than seeking to divide Australians by race.

What is the Australian Constitution?

The federal government is planning a referendum to change the Australian Constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Australian Constitution should unite all Australians. It is the founding document of our nation as a free country.

Australia is one of the world’s oldest and most successful democracies because our Constitution is based on the idea of the equality of all Australians.

The Constitution is the ‘rulebook’ of government. It is not a place for politicians of the day to impose their personal and political values.

Changing the Constitution by dividing Australians according to race or ethnic background makes us all less equal.

Race has no place in the Australian Constitution.

Download 'A positive case for equality in the Australian Constitution'