South Australia has become the first jurisdiction in the country to set up an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
An estimated 5,000 people gathered at the steps of SA Parliament House on Sunday to witness a special sitting which culminated with the First Nations Voice Bill passing through both the upper and lower houses.
SA Premier Peter Malinauskas said it was a “momentous piece of legislation for our First Nations People.”
“It has been a long time coming but First Nations voices will now be heard in the state of South Australia,” the SA Premier said.
Malinauskas also acknowledged the efforts of “so many to get to this point,” including Attorney-General and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kyam Maher and Dale Agius, the state’s First Nations commissioner.
He said he hoped the Voice could be something all MPs, for generations to come, could support and utilise.
There were a number of Greek Australian MPs in attendance at Sunday’s special sitting showing their support for the Bill, including SA Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Energy and Mining, Tom Koutsantonis MP; SA Minister for Small and Family Business, Consumer and Business Affairs, and the Arts, Andrea Michaels MP; Member for Newland, Olivia Savvas MP; and Irene Pnevmatikos MLC.
In a post on Twitter, Mr Koutsantonis wrote: “From the seeing the Voice become law to Greek Independence Day celebrations. What a memorable & special day.”
Ms Savvas also praised the SA Government on Facebook for making history by enshrining the First Nations Voice Bill.
“Today, we started a new chapter – standing proudly together on Kaurna land,” Ms Savvas said.
While the ACT and Victoria both have elected First Nations bodies that can make recommendations to government agencies, they have different functions to what the SA Voice to Parliament will have.
Representatives for the Voice will be elected in coming months, with the mechanism expected to be running before the end of the year.
This state-based Voice comes ahead of a referendum to enshrine a federal body in the constitution later this year.