As Indigenous Voice wording is revealed, ACNC releases advocacy guidelines

Fri, 24 Mar 2023

The move to enshrine a First Nations Voice to Parliament in the constitution has taken an important step forward with Anthony Albanese’s announcement of the referendum’s wording. As the conversation continues to deepen, the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission has released timely new resources and guidelines for organisations that are considering contributing to the discussion.

The ACNC says that charities and NFPs can make a valuable contribution in the lead-up to the referendum. The latest guidelines provide clarity on the parameters around activities that organisations can undertake in the advocacy space on this issue.

This is important information for organisations to be across. For example, the ACNC says that a charity must be able to demonstrate why it considers its advocacy activities further its charitable purposes.

In the case of the referendum, some charities may simply wish to make a statement of support for the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ case, such as posting such a message in the charity’s email signature block. This statement would not jeopardise their registration with the ACNC.

For more on all the guidelines, please visit ACNC’s website.

As the referendum draws nearer, Philanthropy Australia will continue to create opportunities for our members to convene and learn more about the process. We have previously published an open letter in support of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, the establishment of a First Nations Voice to Parliament and for a Makarrata Commission (Treaty). 

To view the full list of organisations and individuals from the philanthropic community who have signed the letter, see our Response to the Uluru statement.

We have also produced background information and resources on the role of philanthropy in the process, including how to contribute to both sides of the conversation.