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A note from our CEO on the upcoming referendum 

19 Sep 2023
Media Release 2 min read
The word 'Yes' sits against a blue background.

Why I’m voting YES; a Voice to Parliament is good for health 


On October 14, I will be standing beside many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, health colleagues and friends to vote YES at the Voice to Parliament referendum.   

I strongly believe that enshrining a Voice to Parliament will have important health and wellbeing benefits for all Australians.   

Listening to community voices has always been a pillar of my professional life. In my role as CEO of VicHealth, I’ve seen first-hand that when we listen to communities and factor their priorities into our thinking, we make better decisions, get stronger value for money, and ultimately reach better health outcomes and lower rates of chronic disease. 

And the science supports this; we go further when we listen to individuals, families and communities on the issues that affect them. It’s also clear that reducing health inequalities benefits everyone and leads to a stronger health system.

I’ve learnt so much from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, colleagues, and Elders I’ve had the privilege to know and meet.  

A Voice to Parliament is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to recognise the oldest continuing culture on Earth and empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to actively participate and give input on decision-making which affects their lives.   

Next month, we have the chance to support a healthier and fairer Australia, where everyone benefits from good health and has the opportunity to thrive. That’s why I’ll be voting YES. 

Dr Sandro Demaio 

CEO VicHealth 

Artwork by Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022
VicHealth acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land. We pay our respects to all Elders past, present and future.
This website may contain images, names and voices of deceased people.

VicHealth acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

Artwork Credit: Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022, acrylic on canvas. Learn more about this artwork.