University of Adelaide statement on a First Nations Voice

Kaurna Learning Circle

The role of the University of Adelaide is to advance learning and knowledge. 

The University is committed to upholding academic freedom and freedom of speech. These things make our campuses and our publications important places for the free exchange of ideas and for the debates that keep our democracy vibrant, healthy, and fair.  

Later this year a referendum on enshrining in the Constitution of Australia an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament and the Executive Government of the Commonwealth will be put to a national vote.

The University Council encourages everyone to engage in this important democratic process with generosity of spirit, respect for the views of others, and minds open to persuasion.

In their personal capacities, senior figures from the University, including the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor, have expressed support for a ‘Yes’ vote in the referendum. However, Council members are aware that individuals of goodwill hold a range of views on the desirable outcome of the proposed referendum.

In this context, the University itself should be a place where the diverse perspectives of our community can be shared and where free, informed, and respectful debate on this societal issue of deep consequence can take place.

This does not in any way detract from the University’s long-standing commitment to reconciliation nor from its determination to contribute to its progress through excellence in Indigenous education and research. The University of Adelaide will continue to listen with care to the voices of Australia’s First Peoples and, in particular, to the voices of the Kaurna People on whose traditional lands our campuses are built.

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