Emergency Leaders for Climate Action (ELCA) is a project of the Climate Council. We are 100% independent and funded by donations from people like you. Your donation will ensure our vital work continues.
Australia is home to the oldest living cultures on Earth. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples flourished sustainably on this continent for thousands of generations, caring for and nourishing the land, including through use of cultural burning practices. No one understands this land better than First Nations peoples, or are better placed to care for it.
Emergency Leaders for Climate Action wholeheartedly supports writing YES at the referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution through a Voice to Parliament.
By writing Yes at the referendum, we can help ensure that First Nations peoples are better able to close the gap that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians when it comes to health, life expectancy, education and employment. First Nations peoples know the best way to deliver genuine and practical outcomes for their communities, which often are the most vulnerable to heatwave, drought, fire, flood, cyclone and other natural disasters.
When we listen to First Nations peoples, when we respect their knowledge and wisdom, and when we empower First Nations communities, we see better outcomes for all. The Voice is about listening to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and ensuring they have greater say over matters that affect them.
By listening to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples we can better protect all Australians. As former senior Australian fire and emergency service leaders, we recognize that Indigenous knowledge is fundamental to effective land management and to reducing disaster risks, particularly to Indigenous communities.
We encourage all Australians to take this historic opportunity to write YES on their ballot papers, to help us come together, to listen, and to take a vital step forward as a nation.