The Federal Government has released the Final Report on the co-design of an Indigenous Voice, which aims to enable more widespread community discussion and a better consultative process.

Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, spoke of the 2019 election commitment “to undertake a process of co-design to develop models and options for an Indigenous voice and to enhance local and regional decision-making”.

“Today we have delivered on that commitment, following an extensive co-design process involving more than 9,400 people, communities and organisations.”

Minister Wyatt restated the importance of this effort.

“For the Indigenous Voice to work, it must have a strong foundation from the ground up,” he said.

“That’s why we’re taking the next step and starting with the Local and Regional Voice – as per the process set out in the Report.”

This Local and Regional Voice is set to address the “Closing the Gap outcomes by providing avenues for Indigenous voices to be heard, including to provide feedback to Government on Closing the Gap.”

Moving forward, the Government will seek to discuss with states, territories and local governments encouraging participation within Local and Regional Voice arrangements, as well as engaging with other stakeholders to progress the initiative. In addition, an Establishment Group to work with the government in forming the 35 Local and Regional Voice bodies.

Minister Wyatt described the process thus far as “successful” and thanked the 52 co-design members “who worked tirelessly for 18 months to deliver this historic proposal”.

This process consulted both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and commenced in October 2019.

The process entailed the 52 members from around the country developing what the Indigenous Voice could look like and how it could be achieved before almost 10,000 people provided feedback on the proposals in discussions both online and in-person across Australia.

The co-design groups then considered the feedback and adjusted the proposal and report as necessary for it to now be presented to the Federal Government.

The final report is available here: https://voice.niaa.gov.au/final-report

By Aaron Bloch