2023 AIJA Oration – Recording now available

By Kate Thomas 01/08/2023

On Friday 23 June we held the 2023 AIJA Oration at the Banco Court, Supreme Court of Queensland. The Oration was delivered by Tony McAvoy SC, AIJA Council and Board Member and co-convenor of the Indigenous Justice Committee. Mr McAvoy is also a Member of the First Nations Referendum Working Group.

Mr McAvoy, the event’s first Indigenous Orator, was introduced by The Honourable Justice Jenny Blokland, and all were welcomed by Aunty Kathy Fisher, an Aboriginal Elder who has kinship ties with the Turrbal People.

In his Oration, Mr McAvoy spoke powerfully about “Indigenous Constitutional Recognition and Representation – A Voice to Parliament”. He outlined the appalling history of the intersection between the law and First Peoples in Australia, including Crown-sanctioned genocide, noting: “The tragedy of our dispossession and all that it entails is often experienced at a family and community-wide level. It is that pervasive.”

He also addressed the Voice, its composition and the arguments for and against it. As he poignantly said: “Fifty-six years after the 1967 referendum, this nation will be asked to consent to our being recognised as the First Peoples and to us having some influence on the decisions that affect us.”

If you missed the event, you can listen to a recording of the Oration below.