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TNA Voice Referendum Webinar

The referendum to change the Australian Constitution to make provisions for a Voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will take place in the final quarter of 2023.

We know this this a very complex matter and one that can be very confusing, especially as it involves a lot of legal and political jargon. To assist TNA members, we have pulled together some sources to compile a brief overview of what the Voice is, what it does and does not aim to do, and how it will affect the Constitution.

Many organisations are considering how and if they should make a statement regarding the Voice, and navigating how they have this conversation with their Boards and stakeholders. There is also an opportunity now to consider what does voice, truth and treaty mean to the performing arts sector, what role do our organisations play, and how can we support these processes? How do we harness the potential of the arts for truth telling?

Update: August 3rd: Unfortunately Larissa Behrendt (Eualayai/Gamillaroi woman) is now unable to join us, and has recommended Michael Lavarch to take her place in the webinar.

TNA invites members to attend an online gathering to address these key questions. We will first hear from Michael Lavarch (bio below) who will provide some key background information on the referendum, with time for Q&A. The rest of the session will be a peer discussion facilitated by TNA Chair Erica McCalman (bio below), with time to share how we are each are approaching these issues, and to generate ideas together on how to support our First Nations colleagues and communities.

Tuesday August 8th
4:00pm – 5:15pm
Online (Zoom)
Click here to view a recording of the first section

Michael Lavarch AO is an Emeritus Professor of Law at the Queensland University of Technology and the former Dean of the QUT Law Faculty. Michael is a member of the Queensland Treaty and Truth Interim Body which is leading the Treaty and Truth process between the First Nations of Queensland and the Queensland Government. Professor Lavarch was a member of the Australian Parliament between 1987 and 1996 and was the Attorney-General in the Keating Government. He was responsible for the establishment of the National Native Title Tribunal and commissioned the inquiry into the forced removal of indigenous children leading to the Bringing Them Home Report. After Parliament, Michael held the role of Secretary-General of the Law Council of Australia and was a foundation Commissioner of ASQA, the National Regulator of Vocational Education. He is currently a Non-Executive Company Director and chairs three national companies. Michael and his wife, Professor Larissa Behrendt operate a film production business that specialises in documentaries on social justice issues, including ‘After the Apology’ the winner of the Australian Directors Guild Award for best direction in a feature documentary and ‘Maralinga Tjarutja’ the 2020 ACCTA winner for best direction in non-fiction television. In 2012 Michael was made an Officer in the Order of Australia in recognition of his work in human rights and education.

Erica McCalman is a Ballardong Noongar woman with Irish Convict, Scottish and Cornish ancestry. A Creative Producer and curator, she has worked in contemporary performing art and festivals for over 15 years including Next Wave, Darwin Festival, Performance Space, Sydney Festival, and others. Through her consultancy project Art Oracle Erica experiments with producing practice, seeking to develop healthy collaborations between artist and institution, find new methods to empower creatives and nurture the next generation of producers.

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