In a firm statement, the Australian national carrier Qantas Group has declared its support for the Yes campaign in anticipation of the forthcoming referendum for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
This endorsement comes coupled with the introduction of a distinctive livery adorned with the Yes23 campaign logo on three prominent Qantas Group aircraft, namely a Qantas Boeing 737, a QantasLink Dash 8 Turboprop, and a Jetstar Airbus A320.
Backing the Voice to Parliament
The CEO of the Qantas Group, Alan Joyce, articulated that the organization’s commitment to backing an Indigenous Voice to Parliament aligns with its longstanding dedication to reconciliation and the concept of a ‘fair go.’
The company’s historical association with the Aboriginal community, depicted through inflight magazine artwork since the 1960s and aircraft adornments since the 1990s, has manifested as pivotal steps in fostering cultural acknowledgment and understanding.
Noteworthy milestones include their advocacy for constitutional recognition in 2014, public endorsement of the Uluru Statement from the Heart in 2019, and their ongoing initiatives to enhance First Nations employment and supplier engagements.
Alan Joyce underscored, “Our support for the Yes23 campaign is rooted in our belief that an official platform for First Nations representation in government will contribute significantly to bridging the existing gaps in critical areas such as healthcare, education, and employment.”
“Just as our Flying Art livery aircraft showcase First Nations culture to a global audience, these specially adorned aircraft will serve as moving messengers of support for a Yes vote, traversing the nation.”
Recognizing the diversity of opinions surrounding this issue among their customers and employees, Mr. Joyce emphasized the importance of informed decision-making through a process of deep listening to First Nations voices.
He encouraged individuals to acquaint themselves with the matter, engage in dialogue, and subsequently arrive at their own conclusions.
Alongside the introduction of the Yes livery on three aircraft, the Qantas Group is taking a tangible step to bolster the Yes23 campaign and the Uluru Dialogue teams by facilitating their travel.
This strategic initiative enables these groups to interact with regional and remote communities across Australia, fostering a broader understanding of the significance of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament ahead of the impending referendum.
Comments by PM Anthony Albanese
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also released a statement following the unveiling of the new Qantas livery. He recalled the first moves by the national carrier to incorporate indigenous livery on its aircraft, saying:
“I do remember the impact in the mid-1990s, when you first unveiled the first of your fleet, decked out in an Indigenous design, the striking red of the Wunala dreaming, an unmistakable sight against the vivid blue sky that defines our continent.”
“Another 747 followed, Nalanji Dreaming, a Boeing 747 named for a Yanyuwa word, meaning our place. A stirring image if you’re lucky enough to glimpse both of them together on a tarmac somewhere around our great country or indeed around the world.”
The Prime Minister’s statement concluded: “For 100 years Qantas has shown the importance of extending ourselves, of reaching higher. This Yes livery is a worthy addition to that tradition.”
“And it is in the Spirit of Australia, that statement about Qantas, which defines the way that we are being uplifted. The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation for all of us to join together in a better future.”
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