Embed Indigenous wisdom

Invest in First Nations leadership and Voice to Parliament

Invest in First Nations leadership and Voice to Parliament by supporting our current and future First Peoples leaders. This can include financial contributions, volunteering, amplifying voices or advocating through campaigning.

The resources on this page have been put together by Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators from Culture is Life for an Australian context. While the ways of thinking presented here may have applicability for politics in your own country, we encourage you to connect with and educate yourself with resources published by the First Nations communities in your local area as a first step in supporting them. If you have any resources, campaigns or groups to share for your local area, please reach out and we will add them to the platform.

Establishing a First Nations Voice in Parliament is crucial if we are to regenerate place and land. A connection with the land, the sovereignty of which has never been ceded, must come with authentic engagement with its Indigenous people. Recognition and inclusion in the spaces of Parliament itself means a constitutionally-enshrined Indigenous Voice within it, ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have a direct say in law and policy.

Supporting the effort is a step towards amplifying and embedding the voices we need to be listening to. Here’s where to start:

It is important to firstly acknowledge that there is no one simple solution to supporting the growth of Indigenous leadership and reshaping systems. The below actions and guidelines were developed by a collective of First Nations People as a first step and guide only. We encourage ongoing learning and respect the work of many before us in offering some ways forward.

Before we can take action, here are some ways we can deepen our respect and understanding of First Nations people, cultures and place, and strengthen an authentic connection, appreciation & understanding of what we are here to respect and protect.

Connect to your own story

  • Connect with your own ancestral story, where you came from and your ancestors' journey, if you can find out.
  • Reflect on your own experiences and interactions on this land and the experiences of your ancestors before you.
  • Understand your own role, place and connection to the lands that you are on.

Connect to Country

  • Expand your awareness of Country, from an Aboriginal perspective, as being all living spirits that live on and form our lands, waterways and sky country.
  • Understand the concept of custodianship, and that we may not be traditional custodians, but we all have a collective responsibility to respect and protect Country.
  • Deepening your value and respect of First Peoples knowledge, cultures, histories and peoples are critical to our futures. The below quote from Uncle Tom Calma encourages us to reflect on the treatment of First of Peoples globally and how without adequate healing and progress, the experience of every person to the nation will be reflective of this.

‘The maturity of a nation is reflective of its relationship with it’s first peoples’ - Uncle Tom Calma.

Engage with your local Aboriginal community

Below are are ways in which you can connect with your local Aboriginal community to gain a deeper understanding of the Country you are on, as well as its peoples and cultures.

  • Connect with your local Aboriginal community members in your neighbourhood, school, community or workplaces. Start with your immediate environment in creating authentic personal connections and relationships with the people and places around you.
  • Engage with your local Landcare Councils & Aboriginal Corporations in your area. This can be through attending events, finding out about their work and programs, investing in Welcomes to Country and local speakers, dance or music groups at your events or education settings.

Note that every Landcare Council and Corporation is unique. There may be opportunities to donate or volunteer with organisations or initiatives specific to your area. Websearch your local Land Councils and Corporations to connect.

  • Remember that you can connect and acknowledge the ‘country’ that you are on every day. Each day we wake up and walk, live and breathe on sacred Aboriginal lands. Take time to connect, learn from and appreciate the ‘country’ around you.

Listen & learn through story

The sharing of stories and knowledge have been passed down to generations, orally for tens of thousands of years. This cultural practice of learning can be shared with all people, and has deep benefits of listening and respecting Elders, seniors and others who share their wisdom. Stories keep culture alive and we encourage you to sit and listen whenever you can. We learn best when we are present and ready to sit, listen and engage in a safe environment.

  • Start by sitting and listening to Country
  • Sit and listen to the community around you, particularly local Aboriginal people if you are able to.
  • Encourage yarning circles, even informally, so we can share stories and learn from others face-to-face in a safe space.
  • We can also learn by listening to videos and audios. There are many incredible Aboriginal-led and focused tv series, documentaries, films, books and podcasts we can listen and learn from.

Below are some ways we can better educate ourselves before choosing to take action on specific solutions below.

We encourage to conduct your own research and educate yourself on topics affecting First Nations leadership and governance in Australian politics.

Some questions to consider:

  • What are the current federal and state government structures in Australia? How were these built and how do they include and exclude First Nations people?
  • What is sovereignty?
  • What is self-determination?
  • How did Aboriginal government look like before colonisation?
  • What is leadership? How do we develop leaders at a political and community level? Why is it important to develop leaders at a community level?
  • What is a treaty and some examples globally?
  • Why doesn’t a treaty exist in Australia and what are the impacts of this?
  • What is happening at state levels to develop treaties in Australia?
  • How does Australia's current constitution reflect its First Peoples? How have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people been treated in this country and how is this reflected or impacted by the colonial laws and policies of the Australian government?
  • What is the Uluru Statement from the Heart? When was it written, what was the process and what is its call to action?
  • What does a First Nations Voice to Parliament look like? What currently exists and what is yet to be seen?
  • What do I understand and what is my own opinion and biases on treaties in and the current states treaty process?
  • Why do we need a First Nations Voice to Parliament?

Invest in and support First Nations leadership and governance in this country

The below are some guidelines to how you can support and invest in First Nations leadership.

Close the Gap Campaign

The 2022 Close the Gap Report: Transforming Power – Voices for Generational Change has 12 recommendations for large-scale transformation and systemic reform to avoid further preventable deaths and protect Indigenous health, well-being, culture, and Country.

These include the full implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and 2020 National Agreement on Closing the Gap plans, investment in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led data development at the local level and the development of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led research agenda for health and wellbeing, with a particular focus on the impacts of systemic racism in health systems.

Donate to The Uluru Dialogue

The Uluru Dialogue is committed to seeing a constitutionally recognised First Nations Voice to Parliament, representing the cultural authority of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and leading community education on their reforms of Voice, Treaty and Truth.

By donating, you are contributing to a national education strategy, led by the Uluru Dialogue and the UNSW Indigenous Law Centre, on a Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Australian Constitution.

  • Donate now - support the journey towards a First Nations Voice in Parliament.
  • Take action - support and take action within your community.

Donate or support First Nations led leadership development programs

We encourage you to research organisations that support First Nations leadership, pathways, governance learning and business in your local area, state or nationally.

Below is a list of organisations that you can support financially or approach to ask how you can volunteer, amplify or advocate for their work.

National Indigenous Australians Agency

National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) considers grant proposals that address a need for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Proposals must be developed with the community or group which will be impacted by the activity. NIAA supports Aboriginal communities in the grant writing application to assist with their projects.


  • Search for any Local Community Leadership Programs

Community First Development meets together to listen, yarn, plan and connect skilled volunteers with the community to get things done. Projects are always determined and led by community.


You can share stories, events and promotion campaigns for calls to action and to raise awareness for initiatives supporting First Nations leadership.


Advocating can look like supporting political advocacy campaigns and writing to MPs.

From the Heart

From the Heart is an Indigenous-owned and run campaign, which champions and campaigns for the Voice to Parliament to be constitutionally enshrined, urging Australian people to come together through a referendum to make change.

'From the Heart is auspiced through Cape York Partnership, which is a First Nations non-for-profit organisation. CYP is a registered charity, with DGR status, and all donations made will be tax deductible and go directly to the From the Heart campaign.'

  • Donate now - to help them prosecute a positive case for a Voice and build more support for a referendum.

Investing in First Nations leadership and Voice to Parliament is part of a larger collective response. Learn more and find other actions about embedding Indigenous wisdsom here.

Know of any other groups or resources? Share your ideas.