The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has announced its intention to support the “yes” vote in this year’s national referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
Speaking at the AOC’s Annual General Meeting on Saturday morning, Australia’s Olympic chief Ian Chesterman announced the organisation’s official position on the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal voices.
“We have committed ourselves to pursue reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through sport,” he said.
Australia’s Olympic chief Ian Chesterman made the announcement in Sydney on Saturday morning. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Joel Carrett
“We did not take this decision lightly as we know there will be those within the Olympic movement who will vote ‘no’ and we respect their right to do so.”
In a statement released this morning, the AOC revealed the verdict was reached on Friday following a joint meeting of the Executive and the Athletes’ Commission.
“We believe that a Yes vote continues this nation’s path down the vital road to reconciliation,” Mr Chesterman said.
“That’s a road the AOC is very firmly committed to through its Reconciliation Action Plans (RAP).
“We are extremely proud of our 60 known Indigenous Olympians and would like to see many more, as we head towards Paris 2024, LA 2028, and Brisbane 2032.”
Brisbane is set to host the Summer Games in 2032. Picture: NCA NewsWire / John Gass
At the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, a record breaking 16 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island athletes competed at the Games.
‘Not deterred’: Voice advocates on Lib move
At the meeting, Mr Chesterman also called on the government to increase funding for sport to ensure peak performance from Australian athletes at the 2032 Summer Games in Brisbane.
“Results also don’t come at the flick of a switch, so if Australia is to have a successful team in Brisbane 2032, (then) the system, the people, that took us to that success in Tokyo need nurturing now.”
Originally published as Australian Olympic Committee ‘firmly committed’ to backing Voice
Read related topics:Indigenous Voice To Parliament