Almost nine-in-10 voters, 87 per cent, think First Nations Australians should have a voice or say over matters that affect them, despite the defeat of the proposed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament.

That’s one of the key findings from the largest and most comprehensive survey on the October 2023 referendum on the possible constitutional change, led by The Australian National University (ANU).

Majority of Australian voters think First Nations Australians should have a voice: Photo: ChameleonsEye/shutterstock.com

The survey, which has been tracking more than 4,200 voters and their views on the proposed Voice to Parliament since January 2023, also found three-quarters, 76 per cent, of ‘no’ voters also think Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders deserve a voice when it came to key policies and political decisions.

Study co-author, Professor Nicholas Biddle, said the survey findings also showed most voters were supportive of some form of constitutional recognition for First Nations Australians.

“Our findings show that there is widespread support for a broad definition of constitutional recognition,” Professor Biddle said.

“Almost five times as many Australians, 61.7, said they would definitely or probably would have voted yes if there was a referendum on recognition compared to those who said that they would probably or definitely would have voted no – 12.5 per cent.”

According to the survey, most Australians, 71.9 per cent, also feel proud of First Nations cultures.

In addition, 79.4 per cent of Australians think that the Federal Government should help improve reconciliation, while 80.5 per cent think that Australia should ‘undertake formal Truth-telling processes to acknowledge the reality of Australia’s shared history.’

“So this raises serious questions about why the proposed referendum failed and saw more than 60 per cent of voters, and all states and territories, except the ACT, categorically reject it,” Professor Biddle said.

“Our findings suggest it is not such much the premise of recognition but the model that was being presented to voters at the referendum, among other key factors.”

The findings of the survey are released in full today.

You may also like

Article Card Image

The government is well behind on Closing the Gap. This is why we needed a Voice to Parliament

Another year, and another Closing the Gap report comes before the parliament and the Australian people. This year,…

Article Card Image

$10 million funding boost to educate Australia’s future Indigenous leaders

Wesfarmers partners with ANU on Kambri Scholars Program to provide student scholarships for decades to come.

Article Card Image

Disaster ready: Vanuatu safehouse to blend Western and Indigenous engineering 

A new safehouse in a remote part of Vanuatu will draw on traditional methods in an effort to keep residents safe during cyclones.

Subscribe to ANU Reporter

Anu Logo

+61 2 6125 5111

The Australian National University, Canberra

CRICOS Provider: 00120C

ABN: 52 234 063 906

EDX Logo
APRU Logo
IARU Logo
Group of eight Australia Logo