Oliver, Nathan, Travis and CharlieImage by: Movember
22 August 2023

Be a voice for change: Movember supports First Nations voice to Parliament

4 minutes read time

In 1965, Charles Perkins used his voice to orchestrate a series of bus tours across regional New South Wales, exposing the racial segregation that was taking place against Aboriginal people. His Freedom Rides shifted public opinion, accelerated positive legal reform, and paved the way for Aboriginal civil rights in Australia.

In 1982, Eddie Mabo challenged the legal notion that Australia was unoccupied land when European settlers arrived in 1788, claiming that Indigenous peoples had lived in Australia for thousands of years with their own traditional laws and customs. A belief that the High Court of Australia upheld in a landmark ruling in 1992. Mabo’s voice transformed the legal landscape in Australia, proving that a single person could be a catalyst for change.

Yes, history has shown us, time and time again, that voices have the power to bridge divides, break down barriers, and amplify untold stories. When channelled correctly, they can inspire great action and unite communities.

We know this because we’ve witnessed it first-hand. It’s what turned one humble idea, rooted in facial hair, into a men's health movement with millions of supporters across the globe. Sparking important conversations, raising vital funds, and encouraging men to break the silence surrounding their health concerns.

" We can’t afford to stay silent because change doesn’t happen in silence. "

While we recognise and respect people’s right to form their own views and opinions, here at Movember, we know just how powerful a voice can be.

We carry the voice of our community with great respect and responsibility because we know it has the power to bring about meaningful change. We use it to lift the profile of men’s health, and that means lifting the profile of Indigenous men’s health too. Because our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, like many Indigenous men around the world, remain disproportionately affected by poor physical and mental health. Experiencing higher rates of chronic disease, mental health issues, substance abuse, and mortality.

We can’t afford to stay silent because change doesn’t happen in silence.

A First Nations Voice to Parliament is a necessary step towards achieving health equity for our Indigenous peoples. By providing a platform for their voices to be heard, we can amplify their lived experiences, struggles, and ambitions. We can develop inclusive policies and services that respond to their specific health needs, and we can help build a society where health disparities are greatly reduced, where cultural knowledge is shared, and where every man has an equal opportunity to thrive.

Movember supports this referendum because we believe that our Aboriginal and Torres Strait people should be brought into the heart of decision-making on issues that impact their communities. By actively listening to, and working with these communities, we know we can greatly improve health outcomes. That’s why we will continue to respect and partner with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to co-create programs that empower men to take charge of their health and well-being. Because we know that healthier men mean healthier families, communities, and societies.

What is the Voice to Parliament?

In May 2017, over 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates from Indigenous nations across the country met for the First Nations National Constitutional Convention. It was here that they perfected a 440-word statement called The Uluru Statement from the Heart.

A statement that called for the establishment of a First Nations Voice in the Australian Constitution. One that would empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to have a say on policies and laws that impact their communities and lives. Addressing structural disempowerment by:

  • Giving independent advice to the Parliament and Government.
  • Representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people based on the wishes of local communities.
  • Empowering community-led, inclusive, respectful, and culturally informed advice.
  • Being accountable and transparent.

The statement did not define the form such a body would take, but it did guarantee that the principle of the Voice could not be undone by future Governments. It would be protected for generations to come.

Where can I learn more?

Don't let a brand tell you what to do, get the facts and form your own opinion. Visiting is a good first step toward informing yourself about this referendum.

Want to know more about the work Movember does with First Nations communities? Head here.

Get support

If you've got a lot on your mind and need a hand coping with it all, we've got a bunch of recommended support links here.

For Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islanders, 13YARN is the national crisis support line for mob who are feeling overwhelmed or having difficulty coping. They offer a confidential one-on-one yarning opportunity with a Lifeline-trained First Nations Crisis Supporter who can provide crisis support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 13YARN.