Australian Evaluation Society has issued a statement of support for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament to be enshrined in Australia’s Constitution. This follows the Board’s decision to endorse the Uluṟu Statement from the Heart which outlines the hopes and aspirations of Australian First Nations Peoples to have their Voice enshrined in the Australian Constitution and for the establishment of a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making and truth-telling about our history.
The statement in support of the Voice is consistent with AES’s enshrining of recognition of First Nations Peoples in its governing document (and ensuring First Nations Peoples sit on its Board), its vision for quality evaluation that makes a difference and its strategic focus of strengthening and building First Nation Peoples’ evaluation capacity in culturally safe evaluation theory, practice and use. Importantly, the statement also reflects AES’s Reconciliation Action Plan aim that Australia recognises and values Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ history, past and present, their sovereignty, and their right to determine their own future.
We consider that a Voice to Parliament is an evidence-based approach that will have a positive impact on the wellbeing, development and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Peoples by ensuring that they have a voice to government on the policies and decisions that affect them, including how they are evaluated.
Supporting the AES’s position, President Kiri Parata, said “It's been too long that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have been calling for their voices to be heard. First Nations Australians deserve better and their voices matter. I’m proud that the AES has elevated the voices of First Nations Peoples and will continue its commitment to quality evaluation that impacts positively for First Nations communities. Constitutional recognition will benefit all Australians as the flow on effects of this much anticipated change are realised.”
Australian Evaluation Society’s Statement of support for the Voice to Parliament
The Australian Evaluation Society welcomes and supports the Federal Government’s pledge to hold a referendum that provides constitutional recognition and representation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples through a Voice to Parliament. The AES is a member association that recognises First Nations Australians in its governing documents and is committed to strengthening and building First Nations contribution to culturally safe evaluation theory, practice and use. We are proud to say ‘Yes’ and support the Voice to Parliament as a positive step forward in empowering First Nations Australians to have their say to government on the policies and decisions that affect them, including how they are evaluated.
We acknowledge and respect the diversity of our membership and the wider community and encourage members to engage in respectful discussion.