The AMA has a history of strong advocacy in support of policies aiming to deliver better health outcomes for all Australians, including for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
As Australia’s peak medical body, it has been incumbent on the AMA to work to address the significant gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We know that this requires a multi-faceted approach, including addressing the determinants of health.
The AMA has shown support for Indigenous recognition in the Australian Constitution and, in 2018, endorsed the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The upcoming referendum asks Australians to vote on whether to amend the Constitution through the addition of proposed wording aimed at recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through a Voice to Parliament.
Members of the Parliament, the medical profession and the broader community who engage in the discussions regarding the Voice to Parliament should do so in a thoughtful and respectful way, mindful of the impact that language and actions can have on the mental health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The AMA supports formal recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution and the establishment of the Voice to Parliament. The AMA considers that this recognition presents a tangible opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The AMA acknowledges the diversity of views within membership of the AMA and the broader community regarding the proposed Voice to Parliament.
The AMA encourages all Australians to inform themselves and consider the possible health and wellbeing benefits that the Voice to Parliament could have for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.