Will Tower - Blak Douglas Cropped

The CBAA's Position on the Voice Referendum

Reece Kinnane, 31st August 2023

The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia has released a Statement on the Referendum for recognition of First Nations peoples in the Australian Constitution and the establishment of a Voice to Parliament.

Read our formal statement.

The CBAA Board has resolved to support the "Yes" position after careful consideration and with the views of First Nations people, communities and members front of mind.

Our key consideration is the positive impact constitutional recognition and a Voice to Parliament will have for our First Nations members by creating a forum for First Nations people to have a say on policies that affect them. The proposed constitutional reform, and the Uluru Statement's call for Voice, Treaty and Truth, clearly aligns with our sector’s future-focused strategic vision for enhanced First Nations’ representation and self-determination in media.

CBAA members are independent. We recognise members will have differing views and aim to facilitate constructive discussion, with education and engagement as our focus. Regardless of viewpoints, community broadcasting has an important role in delivering accurate, informed and respectful reporting and discussion through this deeply significant moment in Australia’s history.

CBAA’s priority is to support community broadcasters to do what they do best – and to communicate about the Voice in a manner that supports community cohesion, promotes mutual understanding and ensures that the views of local, representative First Nations community members are heard, throughout the debate.

For this purpose, the CBAA has prepared guidance that is designed to help all of our members:

  • understand what they need to do to accurately report on the Voice and deal with disinformation;
  • meet their obligations around referendums under broadcasting and other regulations; and
  • sensitively navigate cultural issues

These materials are available here.

The picture included with this article is a cropped version of 'Will Tower', a painting by Koori artist and 2022 Archibald Winner Blak Douglas, which was commissioned to accompany CBAA’s acknowledgment of country.

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