Giving to the Voice: What funders need to know
Philanthropy is playing an important role in supporting public education and campaigns in the lead-up to Australia’s national referendum on a constitutionally enshrined Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament.
It is important to note that like any other gift from your APS giving fund or your private ancillary fund, any support you send to a charity working around the referendum must have Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Item 1 status. If you need assistance to determine the organisation’s eligibility, please reach out to the APS Giving Services team or your APS Adviser.
Donation disclosure scheme
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) disclosure scheme requires people and entities who give more than $15,200 to an entity engaged in referendum work, to lodge a referendum return with the AEC within 15 weeks of the referendum taking place.
Giving fund holders within the APS Foundation are not required to make declarations. The APS Foundation Trustee will handle the declaration at the Foundation level, without disclosing the names of individual giving funds or donors to the Foundation.
For APS PAF clients who have or will make gifts to DGR Item 1 charities engaged in referendum work, it is important that your APS Adviser is aware of all such gifts so we can record them in the PAF gift register. APS will support you to meet the AEC reporting obligations; and if the details of the AEC online lodgement allow, APS will lodge the AEC return on your behalf as part of meeting the PAF’s reporting obligations.
All referendum returns will be published on the AEC website.
Voice organisations for further information
Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition (AICR)
The goal of AICR is to build positive, unifying campaign around the Yes vote and ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are finally recognised in our constitution in a simple and meaningful way: through a Voice to Parliament that will ensure they are heard on the issues that affect their communities. To do this, AICR are aiming to reach more than 17 million Australian voters, ensuring a strong majority across the country vote Yes in the referendum. They engage with individuals, networks and organisations across Australia to educate and raise awareness about the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament. This included holding information sessions, speeches, participating in key events, as well as contributing to articles and policy proposals.
Uluru Statement from the Heart
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation from First Nations to “walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future”. It was issued to the Australian people in May 2017 following almost two years of work. The Uluru Statement calls for structural reform including constitutional change, i.e., structural reform through establishing a new relationship between First Nations and the Australian nation based on justice and self-determination where Indigenous cultures and peoples can flourish, and everyone can move forward. The Uluru Statement calls for a First Nations Voice to Parliament and a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making and truth-telling. The first reform is the constitutional enshrinement of a Voice to Parliament (Voice).
The Uluru Statement is led by the Uluru Dialogue and the UNSW Indigenous Law Centre.
Last updated 29 June 2023