The democratic structures of the AEU both at a Territory and Federal level have informed policy that the AEU publicly provide support to the YES 23 campaign. 

The 2023 meeting of our AEU NT Branch Conference passed the following motion in April:

That this Conference calls upon the AEU NT, in line with AEU Federal, endorse the Yes to the Voice campaign and, at minimum, commit to the following actions:

  • Host and engage in discussion about the implications of the Voice for the Territory
  • Publicly promote AEU NT support for the Voice through branch publications and social media.

The position of our union federally is discussed in the following except from the AEU for Yes website:

Like all important decisions we make, the decision to support and commit resources to running a Yes campaign was reached democratically through formal AEU processes. Yalukit Yulendj, the AEU’s national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education committee, recommended that the AEU support the Yes campaign.

This committee is comprised of representatives from each state and territory. This recommendation was then endorsed by the AEU Federal Conference.

“We urge all Australians to hear the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples who call for support, for the Voice to Parliament in the Australian Constitution.

Parliaments have made laws and continued to implement failed policies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Previous laws have often entrenched discrimination and disadvantage such as forcing Aboriginal and Torres Strait people to work for free or below legal minimum wages since colonisation.

A Voice enshrined in the Constitution will give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples a direct line to Parliament to provide advice on any laws and policies that directly affect them.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People warrant their voice being respected and listened to before laws and policies are made as a fundamental commitment of government and community.”

(Taken from the AEU Federal Conference Statement)

As well as advocating for public educators and public education, the AEU and our members stand alongside other communities as they fight for justice and progress.

The AEU has a long history of solidarity with women’s rights and LGBTIQ+ movements, supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activism, standing with fellow unions, and amplifying aligned global movements across our platforms. Achieving a resounding ‘Yes!’ at the referendum later this year is an essential part of building an equitable future, and that’s union business.

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