As a values-led company with a long history of advocating for progressive social change, Ben & Jerry’s wholeheartedly stands by the Uluru Statement from the Heart and its call for voice, treaty, and truth. We support an unequivocal ‘Yes’ vote at the upcoming referendum and see this as an important step towards self determination and a more fair future.
While the Voice is a critical step, the Voice cannot be the final destination - it is clear that on its own, it is entirely inadequate to address the impacts of centuries of colonisation, unfair policies and racism.
We support the next steps in the journey as heartily as we support the Voice - firstly, that the Voice is meaningfully and permanently embraced, ensuring that First Nations representatives are listened to and the advice is acted on to advance First Nations justice. Secondly, we support the wisdom and experience that will be shared through the Voice to drive policy makers to create transformative change for First Nations justice, including treaties, truth telling, land rights, and self determination.
If we are going to have a more fair future, these fundamental outcomes must come next and happen on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples’ terms. It’s critical we all see ourselves as allies to this, and hold the Government to account to make this a reality.
Here are some great resources -
What is The Voice? https://www.yes23.com.au/voice
How does the referendum work? https://voice.gov.au/resources/information-booklet
Why’s it important to write yes? https://www.yes23.com.au/vote_yes
Conversation guides: https://cdn.getup.org.au/2934-Referendum_Conversation_Guide.pdf
Get involved with your local community: https://www.yes.org.au/events
Pledge to vote yes: https://www.yes.org.au/
We spent a long time listening to First Nations communities and experts on the role of the Voice and how it could help support First Nations justice.
Some First Nations people don’t want a Voice to Parliament because they are advocating for more ambitious policy changes. That’s a fair thing to say as all First Nations peoples agree that transformative change is needed, which is why we are supporting yes in the referendum, and transformative change beyond it, including treaties, truth-telling, land back and justice.
As a progressive company with a large platform, we have a responsibility to our partners and the movement to make sure that the information that we share is representative of who we amplify. It’s especially important when talking about something as complex as the Voice and First Nations justice that we seek to amplify First Nations voices and messages, and not our own.
We have been working for many months to make sure we get the listening part right. We did this by consulting with and listening to First Nations views and expert opinions on the role that we, as a business, can play in supporting First Nations justice in Australia in the lead up to the Voice referendum.
We have been partnering directly with First Nations justice campaigners Write Yes to ensure our messages will add substantive value to the movement, rather than distraction or noise.
As advocates for progressive social change we feel a responsibility to use our platforms to amplify the voices of First Nations communities - especially around conversations as important as the Voice.
It’s especially important when talking about something as complex as the Voice and First Nations justice that we seek to amplify First Nations voices and messages, and not our own. This is why we have partnered with Write Yes to make sure we are sharing messages that advance First Nations justice from those who have lived experience.
At Ben & Jerry’s we have an inspiring ambition. We aim to pioneer our ‘linked prosperity business model’ to advance the global movement for social and economic justice. This translates into bringing our grassroots and activist spirit into everything we do in Australia.
As part of our business model, we hire local activism managers all over the world who are able to use their local expertise to learn from and be guided by grassroots partners on the ground to help drive real change. In Australia, we have a local activism manager and a hard-working team who have strong relationships with Australian NGOs and allies in the climate and social justice space to ensure the work we do creates impact and drives action. We have intersected First Nations justice into our fight for climate justice as the two are intrinsically linked. You can read more about our previous campaigns on our website.
The Voice provides a historic opportunity to support real transformative change for First Nations justice. As advocates for progressive social change we feel a responsibility to use our platforms to amplify the voices of First Nations communities - especially around conversations as important as the Voice.
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