Leading regional think tank Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue has thrown its support behind the upcoming referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese prepares to make his first major address in Greater Western Sydney.
The Prime Minister will today share his vision for one of the nation’s fastest growing regions at the Dialogue’s sold-out event that will be attended by more than 700 senior government, business, industry, academic and community leaders.
Today Mr Albanese will be presented with a letter pledging the Dialogue’s support, endorsed by its patrons, and calling for the constitutional recognition of First Nations peoples. Greater Western Sydney is home to one of the country’s largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations.
Dialogue Chairman, Christopher Brown AM, said constitutional recognition and reconciliation was valued by the region and its leaders, but argued that engaging local communities in the campaign was essential for a ‘yes’ vote to succeed.
“It is vital that the referendum campaign connects with our region’s broad base and culturally diverse population to bring about this important constitutional change,” Mr Brown said.
“We need to make sure Greater Western Sydney is on the right side of history.
“By throwing its full support behind the upcoming referendum, the Dialogue has committed to working with the Government to support the ‘yes’ vote and help bring about this historic change for Australia and its First Nations peoples.”
Mr Albanese will be joined at today’s event by Federal Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland MP, and Federal Minister for Education, Jason Clare MP, where the Prime Minister will draw on his long association with one of the nation’s most dynamic, diverse and politically influential areas.
Outgoing Western Sydney University (WSU) Chairman, Chancellor, Peter Shergold AC, will be honoured at the event for his highly-respected career in academia and Australian public life spanning more than 30 years, including serving as Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2003–2008.
Mr Shergold, who is also a Dialogue Patron, was appointed as WSU Chancellor in 2011, and will step down from the role later this year. Jennifer Westacott will commence as Chancellor in early 2023.Mr Shergold, who was appointed WSU Chancellor in 2011.
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