Countdown to a Historic Referendum

We are on the brink of a significant moment in Australian history, with the date – 14 October – set for our first referendum in over two decades. 

Australia will decide whether or not to amend our Constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians as the first peoples of this nation, and install a new advisory body called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice. This body would give advice to the Australian Parliament and Government on matters that affect the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This includes issues such as education, health, housing, justice and other policies with a practical impact on First Nations people. Parliament would be given the ultimate authority to determine how the Voice will function.

Voters will be asked to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on a single question. The question on the ballot paper will be:
“A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
Do you approve this proposed alteration?”

All households in Australia have been sent this pamphlet outlining the wording of the Constitutional amendment, and the official YES and NO cases. 

For those who will be overseas for the referendum, here are your options if you are on the electoral roll:

  1. Vote via Postal Vote
  2. Vote in-person at your nearest overseas voting centre 
  3. Don’t vote (get an exemption) by letting the AEC know you are overseas 

Voting In-Person Overseas

For the 2023 referendum, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) in conjunction with DFAT and Austrade will be offering in-person voting in a majority of Australian Embassies, Consulates and High Commissions (there are 108 locations!). Voting centres will open from October 2nd for the early voting period. Please be sure to check the High Commission/Embassy/Consulate website regularly for further details – including opening times/dates, and any specific requirements or arrangements for entry.