With only a few weeks until votes are cast in the Referendum on the Voice to Parliament, I would like to take this opportunity to recognise the impact of this discussion on our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, colleagues and community. I would encourage everyone to keep cultural respect and safety at the forefront of their minds.
While universities are places where informed and respectful conversation is actively encouraged, it’s equally important to apply compassion and understanding no matter your viewpoint. We each have a responsibility to always engage in civil discourse aligned to the Curtin values.
Members of the University’s Senior Executive Team and Academic Board recently reaffirmed their public support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart and its call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice in the Constitution. We have also made a commitment to ensure, and provide support for, the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait students both before and after the Referendum.
The University acknowledges the devastating and destructive impact of racism on individuals and the harm it causes. If you or someone you know becomes a target of racial attacks or feels the effect of heightened current media and public attention, there are support services available. If you need support, we encourage you to contact the Student Wellbeing Advisory Service or Psychological and Counselling Services. The Student Guild website also contains information and resources relating to the Voice to Parliament and available support both inside and outside of Curtin.
Please take care of yourself and those around you. Remember to check in with your family and other community members, and if required, please share any of the relevant support services listed with them.
Professor Harlene Hayne CZNM