Statement of Solidarity with First Nations Communities

The community sector reaffirms our strong commitment to First Nations communities in their ongoing fight for sovereignty and self-determination. 

While deeply disappointing, the outcome of the referendum only deepens our solidarity with First Nations peoples in the vital work ahead.

The community sector comprises of organisations across this vast continent, including Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations who have been doing this work for decades.

The situation remains the same as it was before 14 October 2023 in that there is still an unacceptable chasm in living standards and health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous people.

Institutionalised racism still sees police imprisoning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in disproportionately greater numbers than their non-Indigenous counterparts.

And families and communities that should be together are still being separated despite the findings of the Bringing Them Home report more than 25 years ago.

The referendum was a moment of reckoning for many who had never before been asked to confront the ongoing legacy of colonisation. More than 5.5 million people rose to the occasion and took the first step towards Treaty and Truth-telling in writing ‘yes’. 

It is profoundly significant that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities whose lives would be directly affected by the referendum overwhelmingly voted ‘Yes’. 

Unchecked misinformation sowed division among our communities. Now more than ever, it’s critical we come together, continue the work, and unite in solidarity with First Nations peoples.

First Nations Elders and leaders demonstrated incredible strength and generosity in extending an invitation to non-Indigenous Australia to join them on this journey. In the face of the outcome of the referendum, we will remain beside First Nations peoples every step of the way, as they forge a new path to justice. 

We urge Governments to respond to the calls from First Nations peoples for action to Close the Gap in outcomes for communities and to deliver on Voice, Treaty and Truth. 

As the community sector, we commit to: 

  • Solidarity and action with First Nations communities in their ongoing campaign for sovereignty and self-determination, including Voice, Treaty, and Truth-telling. 
  • Ensuring our own decision-making processes respect First Nations voices, leadership and right to self-determination. 
  • Developing partnership principles that ensure we are not competing with Aboriginal community-controlled organisations who are best placed to develop policy solutions and deliver services for their communities. 

First Nations peoples have always had a voice and the solutions for their communities. Now more than ever we must listen to them and back them in. 


54 Reasons
ACT Shelter
Addison Road Community
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
Australian Association for Adolescent Health Ltd
Avivo Live Life
Benevolent Society
Berry Street
Brotherhood of st Laurence
Community Housing Industry Association
Community Legal WA
Community Mental Health Australia Inc
Community Services #1
Consumer Credit Legal Service
Consumers of Mental Health WA
Core Community Services Limited
Disability Advocacy Service
Economic Justice Australia
Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education
Everybody’s Home
Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA)
Financial Counselling Association of WA (FCAWA)
Full Stop Australia
GLBTI Rights in Ageing
Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand
Goodstart Early Learning
Grampians disAbility Advocacy
Health Justice Australia
Human Rights Law Centre
Inclusion Australia
Investing In Our Youth
Jesuit Social Services
KidSafe Victoria
Kin Disability Advocacy
Micah Projects
Mission Australia
Mountains Community Resource Network
Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (MYAN)
National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)
Northern Territory Council of Social Service
NSW Health
NT Mental Health Coalition
Parkerville Children and Youth Care
Peninsula Community Legal Centre Inc.
People with Disability Australia
Perth Inner City Youth Service (PICYS)
Pilbara for Purpose Inc
Queensland Council of Social Service
Relationships Australia
Richmond Wellbeing
Sacred Heart Mission
SCALES Community Legal Centre
Settlement Council of Australia
Settlement Services International
Single Mother Families Australia
Sir David Martin Foundation
Sisters of the Good Shepherd
St John’s Youth Services
The Benevolent Society
The Brotherhood of St Laurence
The Malpa Project
The Salvation Army
Uniting NSW.ACT
Volunteering Australia
Waratah Support Centre
Western Sydney Community Forum
Wisdom Project Australia
Women’s Legal Service WA
Yorganop Association Inc
YWCA Australia
YWCA Canberra

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