VoiceFACTS videos answer your referendum questions

VoiceFACTS is series of short videos offering clear and concise information to help Australians make an informed decision on the Voice in the lead-up to the referendum.

The University of Melbourne has launched a series of short videos offering clear and concise information to help Australians make an informed decision in the lead-up to the referendum on the Voice later this year.

The first 16 videos in the series feature Laureate Professor Emeritus Cheryl Saunders AO, from the Melbourne Law School, one of the world’s leading constitutional law experts and a member of the Australian Government’s Voice Constitutional Expert Group.

The videos are the centrepiece of the University’s Voice to Parliament website, which aims to create a meaningful and sustained debate around the referendum. The website also hosts three long-form videos from our series Conversations about the Voice, organised by the Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies as the referendum bill was debated in the Parliament. In addition, the website includes details of upcoming events, news and opinion articles and statements from the University Council & Executive and Academic Board.

Some of the key questions Professor Saunders answers in the videos are:

  • What is the Voice to Parliament?
  • What would the Voice do?
  • Why do we need a referendum to change the Constitution?
  • Does the Government of the day have to accept the recommendations of the Voice to Parliament?
  • Why does the Voice need to be in the Constitution?

Professor Saunders said the videos will help Australians make their own decisions on the day of the referendum by demystifying and explaining the nuances around the debate and stripping away the technicalities and unnecessary complexities.

“There is a lot of discussion around this important decision for Australia. A referendum to change the Constitution leaves the decision to each of us to make. This is a very different form of decision making to the one we are used to, where the real decisions are made by government and Parliament. It is critical in these circumstances that we all understand what we are voting on and why,” Professor Saunders said.

“These short videos are designed to give clear answers to key issues that are being discussed across the country,” she said.

More videos will be released over the coming months, tackling key subjects and questions as they arise during the national debate.

The videos will bust widely-shared misconceptions about the Voice and assist to stop the spread of misinformation, which has already been flagged by the Australian Electoral Commission.

The intention is for individuals, business leaders and community groups to engage with and share the videos and stories in the lead-up to the vote.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Duncan Maskell said the University of Melbourne had a key role to play in the coming months.

“The University of Melbourne is a public-spirited organisation with a wealth of knowledge and expertise and has a responsibility to contribute to national debates of importance such as the referendum on the Voice,” Professor Maskell said.