• Thomas Mayor (front row) with Uluru Statement from the Heart supporters. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
A survey of 2000 people commissioned by the From the Heart campaign has found that a majority would support a constitutionally-enshrined Aboriginal advisory body to parliament if a referendum were held today.
By
Shahni Wellington

Source:
NITV News
16 Jul 2020 - 10:17 AM  UPDATED 16 Jul 2020 - 10:17 AM

Three years since the convention that delivered the Uluru Statement from the Heart, a poll has shown that the concept for a constitutionally-enshrined advisory body to parliament is still widely supported, and increasing.

Commissioned by 'From the Heart' - a public awareness campaign aiming to build support for the Uluru Statement - the national poll surveyed 2,000 people to find out how they would vote given the immediate opportunity.

It found 56 per cent of people were supportive of the Voice to Parliament. 

Despite previous federal governments dismissing the proposal and our current Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, preferring a 'voice to government' model enacted through legislation, Quandamooka man and campaign director, Dean Parkin, said the results were a clear indicator that they're on the right path.

"The reason why we're still talking about it is because people around the country, individuals, organisations, a grassroots movement, have kept this issue alive and have kept it on the national agenda," Mr Parkin told NITV News.

"Even though there's been some pretty strong political views against it...it's still there, it's still alive and people still think it is the best option."

According to Mr Parkin, previous research by the From the Heart campaign found 71 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people said they would also vote yes for a constitutionally-enshrined Voice to Parliament.

"It's an incredibly strong starting point and our job is to grow that and to amplify it, and to bring more people along on that journey and grow that support so we can move to a referendum to really make this happen," Mr Parkin said.

The survey asked the question: “If a referendum were held today, how would you vote on the proposal to change the Constitution to set up a new body comprising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that gives advice to federal parliament on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues?”

It's not the first poll to be carried out by social research and political polling firm, CT Group. Its founder, Mark Textor, is a 'key partner' in the renewed push, according to the Sydney Morning Herald

The results showed support had grown from 49 per cent in February to 56 per cent last month. 

The From the Heart campaign acknowledges there is a diversity of views, with pushes for separate models of Aboriginal recognition including treaty or designated seats in parliament for elected Aboriginal representatives. 

"But we've also got to recognise the historic nature of what happened at Uluru," Mr Parkin said.

"After a very, very long process going [for] decades, mob came together and spoke very clearly, with great authority, in support of a Voice to Parliament, and I think that is something that we must respect and acknowledge as a massive mandate to move this forward."