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EcoNetwork reaffirms its commitment to First Nations Peoples

EcoNetwork reaffirms its commitment to First Nations Peoples of Australia

EcoNetwork Post Stephens believes rightful recognition of, and genuine reconciliation with, First Nations Peoples is fundamental to protecting nature in Australia.

EcoNetwork supported the Voice to Parliament as a positive step forward in empowering First Nations Peoples of Australia to have their say to government on the policies and decisions that affect them. We are saddened and regret that the Voice referendum was unsuccessful.

However, we believe that by having this debate the movement for Indigenous rights and recognition has grown. To quote Thomas Mayo, “In all my years of advocacy for Indigenous rights, I have never felt such levels of solidarity.”  

We will continue to advocate for First Nations communities to have control over their own destiny. As we confront the urgent climate and nature crises, we need to listen and learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Listening to First Nations Peoples will drive better and fairer outcomes for First Nations communities, and for all Australians – including protecting the ancient culture and landscapes we love.

In alignment with our constitution, we reaffirm our commitment to working alongside the wisdom of the oldest living culture on earth. We believe that as part of an environmental movement we can respectfully learn and take action to protect Country together.  

From our constitution:
EcoNetwork Port Stephens acknowledges that the First Nations Peoples of Australia hold unique knowledge and rights inherited from their ancestors and Country and have cared for this country since time immemorial. We recognise that sovereignty was never ceded, and that colonisation was unjust, often violent and continues to adversely impact on First Nations Peoples today. As a Port Stephens environmental nature network organisation, we understand we have a responsibility to help right this historical wrong. We pay our respect to the First Nations Peoples of Australia, past, present and future. We respect their leadership in caring for Country and support their rights to continue to do so. We support their authority to speak for Country, right to self-determination and recognise that rightful recognition of and genuine reconciliation with First Nations Peoples is fundamental to protecting nature in Australia.

Post-referendum discussions

Congratulations Soldiers Point Polling Booth – you got the 5th highest YES vote in the electorate of Paterson, 42.67% which is above the state and national average.

A statement from Indigenous Australians who supported the Voice referendum: a Week of Silence for the Voice. Read the statement here.

A group of First Nations leaders, community members and organisations who supported Yes have published an open letter to the Australian Prime Minister, all MPs and Senators. Read the letter here.

If you’d like to continue supporting Indigenous rights, programs and initiatives, here is a selection of helpful links:

Reconciliation NSW

Common Ground – a First Nations not-for-profit working to shape a society that centres First Nations people by amplifying knowledge, cultures and stories.

Firesticks Alliance

ANTAR – a trusted Ally and Thought Leader providing Australians with quality information on priorities concerning First Nations rights – sharing with all Australians independent research and analysis.

Go Volunteer

Supply Nation

Media reports:

It was a day when rather than step towards a more kind and equitable future, Australia chose to retreat to a deeply problematic past – The Conversation

How far along are first nations treaty negotiations across the country

Indigenous leaders break their silence, call referendum defeat ‘appalling and mean-spirited’ – ABC News

With the lies and disinformation of Voice referendum exposed, Australia is sleepwalking towards the future – ABC News

Overwhelming support for truth in political advertising laws following referendum – The Australia Institute

How First Nations People are taking charge of clean energy projects on their land

Published: 31 Oct 2023