Prime Minister-elect Anthony Albanese reignited the hopes of Illawarra First Nations people after he committed to the Uluru Statement from the Heart in his first speech.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart was handed down five years ago, and called for a constitutionally enshrined voice to parliament, and a Makarrata Commission overseeing treaty agreement making.
Implementing the statement's demands would be as high a priority for the new government as the apology to the Stolen Generation, the party's incoming Indigenous affairs minister Linda Burney said on Monday.
Murri woman Jaymee Beveridge, the executive director (Indigenous strategy) at UOW and director of the Woolyungah Indigenous Centre, said the promise marks a positive step forward for an equitable future for First Nations people.
She remains hopeful the party will stick to its word.
"It's been a long time coming. So it is a step forward," Ms Beveridge said.
"But we need the referendum to be put on the table, and we absolutely need it to be worded correctly.
"We've seen governments turn on a dime in the past ... so it's now time to walk the walk. I'm hopeful the new government will (implement it)."
The statement calls for a permanent forum of representation from which First Nations can advocate for their peoples to the parliament and government.
To enshrine the voice, the constitution must be amended, which can only be done by referendum.
This would ensure First Nations people are genuinely represented and respected at a national level over the laws and policies that affect them, Ms Beveridge said.
"The constitutional recognition brings to life the notion that it can't be made about us without us," Ms Beveridge said.
"You look at Close the Gap, which was established by white fellas, about black fellas, and the gap isn't actually closing. So having the voice enshrined will absolutely be a way forward."
A referendum on a voice to parliament would be the first referendum in more than 20 years.
Despite the low success rate of referendums in Australia, Ms Burney said she was confident, highlighting the 1967 vote on including Indigenous people in the census.
"When you think about 1967 with the referendum, the most successful ever in this country, because it was fundamentally about fairness," Ms Burney said.
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