Q Shelter will continue to support Australia’s First Nations peoples’ call for recognition and reconciliation
Q Shelter’s vision is that every Queenslander has a home. We work to positively influence policy and investment in solutions to housing need and homelessness and to build system capacity and capability to deliver those solutions.
Along with the vast majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the country, we are disappointed with the outcome of the 14 October Referendum calling for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament to be enshrined in the Australian Constitution.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are over-represented among Queensland’s homeless population and are more likely than other Australians to have unmet housing needs. The rate of homelessness among First Nations Australians is nearly nine times greater than other Australians. This includes a greater likelihood of living in overcrowded dwellings. Many First Nations households are paying rent, which causes housing stress leading to severe cost of living pressures on essential items such as food, transport, and utilities. Many children miss out on participation in community life because there simply isn’t enough money to play sports, join clubs and enjoy other activities that enrich lives and improve wellbeing.
Housing is a human right and a key social determinant of health. People cannot flourish without a safe and secure place to call home that they can afford. First Nations Australians are so far behind other Australians when it comes to having access to secure, affordable and appropriate housing.
We believed that enshrining the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution would ensure First Nations’ voices were heard on these and other critical issues that have been shared by First Nations communities themselves.
While we supported the Voice to Parliament without hesitation in order to imagine a better future for all Australians, we will continue to listen to and support First Nations communities, organisations, advocates and individuals to help close the gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and work towards reconciliation.