At Top Blokes, we value diverse and respectful perspectives. We are an ally of First Nations people and believe the Voice referendum gives us a unique opportunity to support constitutional reform.
Why does Top Blokes support an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice?
A Voice to Parliament will mean the 65,000 years of First Nations peoples' rich culture will be celebrated and acknowledged in Australia's Constitution for the first time.
The Voice will begin the process of treaty-making and truth-telling but, most importantly, will empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to voice what they feel will best support people in their communities.
We believe that empowering people to have a say will help enact sustainable, lasting and effective change.
80% of Indigenous Australians support the Voice.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have formally called for a Voice for nearly a century. When First Nations advisory groups were legislated in the past, they were quickly dismantled by succeeding governments.
Embedding a Voice in the Constitution ensures successive Governments can't reverse the decision.
Change in areas to support First Nations young males to lead happy and healthy lives is a key vision Top Blokes shares.
Suicide is the biggest killer of young males and Indigenous Australians die by suicide at a rate twice higher than non-Indigenous youth.
We see first-hand the disproportionate gaps in outcomes that exist in many areas that affect the boys we mentor, including school enrolment, school attendance, youth detention and child removal.
When First Nations people are not involved in decisions affecting them, outcomes fail to improve.
We believe communities should have the right to self-determination and represent on matters that are directly relevant to them.
One concern raised is the lack of detail in the proposed Voice. However, remember the referendum focus is simply asking Australia: Should Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have a Voice? Australia will go to the Polls on Saturday, 14 October, to respond directly to this question.
Caring for your mental health during The Voice debate
The Voice conversation is important, but it is also a challenging and distressing time for some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.
Being the focus of such a polarising debate filled with strong political opinions and misinformation could impact the wellbeing of mob nationwide.
We've gathered a few tips to help young people to look after themselves and their mates.
Check-in: Check-in on and connect with mates, mentors, community, mob and Elders
Connect: Connect with Country and culture in ways meaningful to you.
Practice: Practice 'The Big 6' - set a good exercise routine, sleep, healthy eating, good hygiene and drink water.
Protect: Protect yourself by taking time off social media. Step away from the debate when you need to.
Be an upstander: If you see harmful content, unfollow, block, report, delete, repeat! Avoid 'doomscrolling'.
Establish boundaries: Create safe boundaries for yourself. Communicate them if necessary. If you are not in the mood for the conversation, speak your truth and let your friends know you want to change the subject.
No matter how you intend to vote, we must look after each other, be respectful and prioritise the safety, wellbeing and respect of First Nations people.
If you need support, free and confidential support services and online resources are available:
13YARN: 13 92 76 (run by mob for mob) 24/7
eSafety Commission: www.esafety.gov.au/firstnations - Tips for First Nations users on protecting yourself online and reporting harmful content
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
Lifeline: 13 11 14
You can learn more about a Voice to Parliament at www.yes23.com.au/vote_yes