Nurses and Midwives for Voice
Nurses and Midwives for Voice
The referendum has been decided, but we still have work to do.
On 14 October 2023, Australians exercised their democratic rights and voted against an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament.
This was a disappointing outcome for the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) however, we respect the decision of the voting public.
The NSWNMA’s support of a Voice to Parliament was empowered by hundreds of volunteers who campaigned daily to inform the public of the key challenges facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Our volunteers worked tirelessly to speak with voters at a grassroots level. This effort has helped kickstart a new conversation around our First Nations people, and for that we thank everyone who contributed to this campaign.
We recognise that although the Voice has not been endorsed, there is still a wide-spanning appetite to deliver improvements for the traditional custodians of our lands.
Here at the NSWNMA, we have an ongoing part to play in this, namely in health care, and we are proud that work is underway in this area.
At our 78th Annual Conference in September, the union marked an historic moment with the passing of a motion to appoint two Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander positions to the Association’s Council, and the formation of a dedicated Members Circle.
This will ensure our work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members continues, and our culturally and linguistically diverse members are represented and have an effective voice in their workplaces.
Closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous care, and improving cultural safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers, is a priority for our union.
We continue to stand with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and are committed to championing health reform that uplifts some of our country’s most disadvantaged communities.
Family Union Gathering, by artist Bradley Page of the South Clan of the Dharawal nation
The NSWNMA commissioned this artwork in the lead up to the campaign for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament, to be part of a new scrub design.
Family Union Gathering, by artist the Bradley Page of South Clan of the Dharawal nation, depicts a gathering place in the sky where a mother and father come together to bring children into the world. Below this gathering place is a collection of stars, representing the children falling to Earth. At the bottom is a gathering ground where the children are met by midwives. To the centre of this gathering ground is a family unit, consisting of mother, father and child together.
The design pieces are as follows:
Middle top: A gathering place where men reach out to women to bring children into the world.
Middle left and right: Stars represent babies as they fall down to Earth. They land either side at the gathering grounds of the midwives.
Bottom middle: The central gathering ground represents the family unit: mother, father and child.
Join the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Member Circle
Members who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander are invited to join our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Member Circle. This initiative ensures First Nation voices are heard within the democratic structures of the Association.
If you identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, and would like to join this Member Circle, please email our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Officer, Keith Wicks: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shaye Candish, NSWNMA General Secretary
“We have an important role to play in continuing to work in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, irrespective of the referendum’s outcome. We are deeply committed to championing improvements for First Nations people and their communities, particularly in health care. We look forward to moving forward together and driving change through our new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Councillors, and Members Circle.”