Be a Voice for Generations – Reconciliation Week 2023
We hope to reach the day when a ‘Reconciliation Week’ becomes unnecessary, where we stand as citizens reconciled to the truth of a divisive past and have worked together to achieve a fair and equitable society. Until then, this week is a powerful symbol of how far we may have come on this journey, but it is also a timely reminder of how far we still must go. As a practice, we’ve made good progress with our RAP and have committed to make further strides in this area.
Below: The Granite Island Causeway in South Australia. The Granite Island Causeway Project is a legacy project, which has shown an amazing collaboration between the State Government, COX, and the Ngarrindjeri and Ramindjeri Peoples and celebrates the strong connection First Nations have to this beautiful part of the country.
An area of opportunity for us to advocate is the national debate relating to the upcoming referendum on a Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament which is expected to be held later year. This is clearly a topic of great importance, and a change to Australia’s constitution is not to be taken lightly. Given this we’d encourage you all to engage with the discussion openly, humbly, and genuinely. We urge you to familiarise yourself with the background and both sides of the debate to ensure, as a society, we are as engaged and as informed as possible prior to the referendum.
- Official Australian Government website on The Voice, with info including how a referendum works, the referendum question, and the proposed constitutional amendments: https://voice.gov.au/
- Australian Electoral Commission information on Referendums: https://www.aec.gov.au/referendums/
The ‘Yes’ Case
Key websites and info sources articulating the Yes case:
- The Uluru Statement from the Heart had a significant role in building momentum for consideration of a Voice, and the formation of the Referendum Council which looked in detail at the form it could take: https://ulurustatement.org/ and https://ulurustatement.org/education/design-principles/
- Reconciliation Australia: https://www.reconciliation.org.au/reconciliation/support-a-voice-to-parliament/
- Yes 23: https://yes23.com.au/
- YouTube video of Referendum & Voice to Parliament Information Night – organised by Senator David Pocock and held in Canberra on 31 March 2023: https://youtu.be/dVB3wgib4rQ
The ‘No’ Case
Key websites articulating the ‘No’ case:
- Fair Australia: https://www.fairaustralia.com.au/
- Recognise a Better Way: https://www.recogniseabetterway.org.au/
Below: JCU Central Plaza. COX were fortunate enough to work with Quandamooka Woman Megan Cope on James Cook University’s Central Plaza, where her two-dimensional work is overlayed on the plaza’s three-dimensional canopy soffit. The featured piece, titled After the Flood, is part of Cope’s flooded landscape series that illustrates how environment, identity, geomorphology, and mapping are interwoven over time.
COX is truly ‘by the many, for the many.’ Our people, and the projects they design, represent diversity.
In this week we reflect on reconciliation and how meaningful change takes time. We commit to creating lasting relationships that both enrich our knowledge of place and people, and most importantly help to grow and positively impact on the Traditional Custodian communities we work with. Strong relationships will help cultivate who we are, the design process we partake in, and our design outcomes so that our projects have much more meaningful engagement with Country and Community.
Above: Allianz Stadium Redevelopment. Indigenous artist Tony Albert is responsible for the design of the artwork that is displayed across the seats. The work, titled ‘Two Worlds Colliding’, looks to bring together two separate groups imagined as land and sea, like home and away teams playing one another.