Last month, Elders at the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation took a formal position on the Voice to Parliament to actively support the YES vote.
The decision, made by the Wurundjeri Board of Directors at their August meeting, came after months of careful consideration, including two face-to-face meetings between Elders and the Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney.
The Wurundjeri Corporation acknowledges the many views across the Wurundjeri community and notes that not all Board members voted on a formal position.
Post the August meeting, Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation Chair Allan Wandin said some Board members will not advise or encourage any individual living or working on Wurundjeri Country to vote YES or NO.
“People have a right to vote either way and as a Wurundjeri man, I won’t be influencing anyone’s decision on this referendum,” Allan said.
“The decision to support the YES vote was not made by the full Board of Directors.”
The Wurundjeri community has a long history of post-colonial political engagement.
Esteemed Wurundjeri Ancestors Billibellary, Ningulabul, Bebejan, Simon Wonga, and William Barak were all well-known and active participants in the political scene as Melbourne was being built around them.
The Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation was established in 1985 by Wurundjeri Elders. As a representative body for Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people, the Traditional Owners of Melbourne, and the Greater Melbourne region, it is the oldest and longest-running Traditional Owner organisation in Victoria.