The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has expressed its deep disappointment at the Voice referendum result.
The ANMF was strongly in favour of a Voice to Parliament as a genuine pathway to Closing the Gap and to finally finding meaningful strategies for improving health outcomes for First Nations peoples and communities.
Today, firstly and most importantly, we want to acknowledge First Nations activists, peoples and communities, who have fought for change for so long and who led this campaign with such strength and commitment, and whose resolve, despite the result, has started a conversation that will lead to a better future for Australia.
While we respect the referendum’s decision and acknowledge that many of those who voted no also want to find meaningful strategies to improve health outcomes for First Nations peoples, the ANMF expresses its deep regret at this lost opportunity. We know, however, that this is not the end – there are many pathways to improving health outcomes for First Nations peoples and to First Nations justice.
We stand in solidarity with First Nations communities on this day and assure you that we will never give up. The ANMF will continue to listen and to work with First Nations peoples to achieve better outcomes and a better, fairer, just future.
Statement authorised by Annie Butler, ANMF Federal Secretary. 1/365 Queen St, Melbourne.