NAIDOC Week 2023 – The Voice Panel Discussion

This coming NAIDOC Week, the Victorian Pride Centre presents a panel discussion on the Voice to Parliament constitutional reform, and the themes of self-determination and human rights in the context of contemporary Australia.

In such an important year for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and for the country in working towards true and meaningful reconciliation, the Pride Centre encourages our diverse communities to engage with and understand the significance of the referendum and what a Voice to Parliament will mean.

The discussion will feature Victoria’s Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities Dr. Todd Fernando, alongside Boon wurrung Senior Elder and academic, N’arweet Dr. Carolyn Briggs AM, Sheena Watt MP, with human rights and legal expert, and member of the LGBTIQ+ community, Professor Paula Gerber (non-Indigenous).

Dr. Todd Fernando is Australia’s first openly queer Aboriginal Commissioner. Todd will speak about the Voice to Parliament from First Nations people’s and/or LGBTIQ+ people’s perspectives, his PhD research and the significance and impacts of this latest referendum for and on Rainbow Mob.

N’arweet Carolyn Briggs will speak about the social and political context, journey towards the referendum and potential impacts of a Voice to Parliament from First Nations perspectives.

Sheena Watt is a member of the Victorian Legislative Council for Northern Metropolitan Region. She is the first Aboriginal Australian woman to represent the Australian Labor Party in the Parliament of Victoria. Prior to becoming a member of Parliament, Sheena was an Executive Manager at AFL SportsReady and on the Board of Directors for some of the most important community organisations in Victoria.

Professor Paula Gerber will unpack the logistics of constitutional reform and also speak about the Voice through an LGBTIQ+ lens – the influence of the Aboriginal civil rights movement on later campaigns for LGBTIQ+ rights, and the parallels and differences between 2017s Marriage Equality survey and the Voice referendum.

Registrations for this event are free, and the panel discussion will be live-streamed via JOY Media’s Facebook page for people who are unable to participate in person. This event is open to all, and we highly encourage Rainbow Mob to attend (either at the Pride Centre or online).

The Victorian Pride Centre Theatrette is wheelchair accessible and has a Hearing Loop facility available. Please be advised this event will be photographed and filmed, please let Pride Centre staff or volunteers know if you do not wish to be photographed/filmed.

Live stream the event via the JOY Media Facebook page on July 7.

Key information:

Date: Friday 7 July
Start Time: Doors Open at 5pm (with grazing table from Mabu Mabu)
Panel Session begins: 5.30pm to 7pm
Event ends: 7.30pm
Location: Victorian Pride Centre, 79-81 Fitzroy St, St Kilda 3182Location: Victorian Pride Centre, 79-81 Fitzroy St, St Kilda 3182
Panellists: N’arweet Dr. Carolyn Briggs AM, Victoria’s Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities Dr. Todd Fernando, Professor Paula Gerber, Sheena Watt

Tickets available here.