Voice to Parliament referendum - Our CEO's statement - Annecto

Voice to Parliament referendum – Our CEO’s statement

A message from Cheryl De Zilwa, CEO of Annecto. 

On Saturday 14 October, Australians were asked to vote in a referendum on whether the Constitution should be changed to recognise the First Peoples of Australia, by establishing a body called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. As you would know, the referendum did not pass. 

The Referendum was a significant event, and we acknowledge that some of our colleagues, family, friends and community members may be experiencing many different emotions. 

We want to acknowledge the emotional impact of this long and public debate, regardless of anyone’s personal view. The referendum debate has been confronting and distressing for many, with several Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experiencing racism, discrimination and harassment during the process. We respect and encourage the request of the Yes campaign leaders for a week of silence to grieve and reflect on the outcome and regain strength to consider the way forward.

We ask everyone to treat each other with empathy, kindness and respect.  Please do not assume your colleagues want to talk about the referendum. If they do, please listen with an open heart.  

At Annecto, we are committed to continuing our work with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, people we support, communities and partners.

A few more useful links: 

·        Brother to Brother hotline, Ph: 1800 435 799 (24hr crisis line for Aboriginal men)  

·        Beyond Blue, Ph: 1300 22 4636 (24hr)  www.beyondblue.org.au  

·        13YARN, Ph: 13 92 76 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander crisis support line https://www.13yarn.org.au  

·        Lifeline 24-hour Telephone Crisis Support, Ph: 13 11 14