1st June 2023

First Nations

Indigenous Voice to Parliament Referendum

On October 14, 2023 , all Australians eligible to vote, will be asked to vote individually on a referendum concerning a Voice to Parliament for First Nations Peoples.  Throughout this year across our Baptist family, we have discussed this topic widely – and have listened to the corporate discernment. To this end, the BUV will not have an official position on the Yes or No Vote for a Voice to Parliament. However, most importantly, the BUV will continue to pursue our journey of reconciliation and deep commitment to justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, based on previous history and resolutions.

During our discussions, many people indicated they needed answers to some questions before they felt informed enough to contribute. We have sought answers to some of the questions raised during these discussions, including from a Christian Indigenous leader and these can be found below. 

Download the BUV’s Indigenous Voice to Parliament Resource Pack, July 2023
Read an Open letter from Tim Costello August 29, 2023
View Murray Campbell’s blog post  The Voice and what we prayed at church yesterday  August 28, 2023
A Christian Indigenous Leader answers some key questions
Why should BUV people care about The Voice?


Today we focus on justice and advocacy for our First Nations peoples.  Creator God has blessed us with the oldest living people and culture here on these lands we now call Australia. However, since colonisation, our First Nations peoples have been treated with indignity. They have experienced loss of land, culture, language, and they have lost many precious lives. Today we have the opportunity to listen, lament and to stand in solidarity with our First Nations sisters and brothers. We encourage you to watch and share the video below.


Download Video
Download First Nations Devotion


Take Action

  • Join the Online Prayer Vigil for Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
  • Watch Aunty Dr Anne Pattel-Gray’s keynote address from the Surrender Mini-Festival inviting us to listen and go on a journey of relationship with First Nations peoples.
  • Educate yourself through a range of resources using Common Grace’s suggested videos and readings.
  • Take action and speak out against Aboriginal deaths in custody, by writing or speaking to your local MP.
  • If you want to delve further into advocacy for this topic, check out the What We’re Asking section for this theme in the Justice 2021

Useful Resources



  • Riding the Black Cockatoo – John Danalis
  • One Blood – John Harris
  • Lowitja – Stuart Rintoul
  • Tumultuous Times (Chapter 4) – Dr John Sampson


  • Scott Darlow is a Yorta Yorta man who lives in Melbourne. He is available to speak and sing in your church. scottdarlow.com; scottdarlow@icloud.com



Common Grace Resources

  • A video conversation with Aboriginal Christians on the meaning of Reconciliation
    Take the opportunity to deeply listen to Aboriginal Christian Leaders Uncle Ray Minniecon, Aunty Sue Hodges and Adam Gowen as they reflect on the meaning of Reconciliation and how we can practically love in action as Jesus calls us to do.
  • Raise the Age campaign
    Letter template to send the Premier and/or Attorney General in your State or Territory a letter urging them to take action to #RaiseTheAge of criminal responsibility.

Baptist Mission Australia

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