So here we are, a week on from the end of the referendum campaign. Its outcomes – especially the pain inflicted on First Nations people – have left many of us grieving and angry.

It’s clear that as a nation, we are still far too disconnected from the true stories of this place. We have so much work to do, together, to better connect with ourselves, each other, the land and the people and cultures who have managed Country here for millennia.

For generations, First Nations communities have fought tirelessly for justice. It’s because of the decades of protest, activism and advocacy that momentum for change has been growing.

Let’s not allow this moment to take us backwards. We must keep building towards justice for First Nations people and Country – which is critical for nature, and in turn all of us.

Here at ACF we’re deeply committed to listening to, collaborating with and elevating the demands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We’ll keep speaking up and contributing to movements towards better outcomes for First Nations people and Country. And we’ll keep inviting you to join us.

You’ll see this in action through some of our work in the coming months, including:

  • A powerful contribution to truth-telling about First Nations resistance to fossil fuel and nuclear projects in our soon-to-be released film: Heart of Country.
  • Big opportunities to embed First Nations knowledge and authority to speak for Country into environmental protection efforts and decision-making through major reform in Australia’s national environment laws.
  • Critical moments to raise your voice and stand with Traditional Owners saying no to coal, gas and nuclear projects on their Country.
  • More work on-the-ground and advocacy to government decision-makers to ensure First Nations people have their say and benefit from Australia’s transition to renewable energy.

A person with long dark hair wearing a blue YES t-shirt. Over the photo a quote is printed "We've got to push with our hearts".

ACF supported the Yes campaign during the referendum, and we want to acknowledge and thank all of you who contributed to the campaign. While this outcome is not what many of us wanted, we must come together to keep working towards justice, treaties, truth-telling and more.

Nature and culture are intricately connected. For First Nations people, they are one and the same. This is what has sustained nature, people and our incredible plants and animals here for millennia – and all of us embracing this is core to our survival into the future.

It’s up to all of us to come together and build towards a fairer, more just future. A future where First Nations people’s knowledge of and authority to speak for Country is truly honoured by our governments, businesses and communities. A future where we all thrive here together, embracing the knowledge, cultures and communities that have managed our places since time immemorial.

Let’s keep connecting with, listening to and standing with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, wherever we each live, work and play.



Josie Alec

First Nations Lead, ACF