From the desk of Luke, Chief Executive Officer. 

As the reality of the recent referendum settles in, it is with a heavy heart that I share our disappointment with the outcome. This referendum was an important step towards recognising and addressing the historical injustices faced by Indigenous Australians. It was a gift offered to our Nation in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, a proposal developed from over a decade of consultation and work led by Aboriginal people from across the nation. The referendum was an opportunity to take a significant step toward justice and rights for Aboriginal people in their own country. Unfortunately, our nation was not ready for this offering.

So it is with compassion, and a sense responsibility, that South Coast NRM acknowledge the disappointment and pain that this referendum has caused many within the Indigenous communities of Australia. We are deeply sorry for the missed opportunity and the frustration that this outcome has caused. As CEO of South Coast NRM I sincerely thank the local Noongar community for their work over many years in advocating for their people and leading solutions for healing Country and people. As a nation we need to listen, you do not need to do all the work for us anymore, we must step up.

In these moments of disappointment, it’s crucial to remember that the fight for recognition and justice is not over. South Coast NRM, as an organisation, will continue to support and amplify the voices of Indigenous Australians. We will continue to advocate for change and work together with First Nations peoples to build a more inclusive and equitable region and nation.

Whilst the “No” vote is a setback, it is not the end of the road. We remain committed to pursuing justice and reconciliation, and we believe that, together, we can overcome the disappointments and barriers that lie in our path. Let us continue the journey towards a brighter, more inclusive, and equitable Australia, where the voices of all people are heard and respected.