Professor Clare Wright OAM
Professor of History and Public Engagement
Mobile: 0408 668 882
Professor Wright is an award-winning historian and author, broadcaster and public commentator. She was a historical consultant on the Uluru Dialogue’s You’re the Voice ad featuring John Farnham’s iconic song and was one of the drivers behind an open letter signed by more than 350 historians around the nation calling for a yes vote.
- How will historians of the future look back on this moment?
- What will the history books written in 2050 and 2123 have to say about this moment in time?
- How will the story of the Voice referendum be written? How will our generation be judged? Who will be the bad guys and the good guys?
Recent commentary from Professor Wright:
- The Guardian: Historians urge Australians to ‘be on the right side of history’ when they vote in voice referendum
- The Conversation: Friday essay: 60 years old, the Yirrkala Bark Petitions are one of our founding documents – so why don’t we know more about them?
Professor Andrea Carson
Professor of Political Communication Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy
Professor Carson has been conducting research with fellow political scientists to analyse referendum campaigning through social and mainstream media and polling data.
Recent commentary from Professor Carson:
- The Conversation: Voice referendum: is the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ camp winning on social media, advertising spend and in the polls?
- The Age/SMH: Why the No vote on the Voice is winning TikTok
Dr Madelaine Chiam
Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching, La Trobe Law School
Dr Madelaine Chiam is Associate Professor and Associate Dean Learning and Teaching in the La Trobe Law School. She researches public international law, the histories of international law, the relationships between the global and the local, and the role of international law in Australian life.
Quotes attributable to Dr Chiam:
“The Australian Constitution is, and should be, a living document. How can the Constitution adapt to the needs of modern Australia when a minority of the total number of voters can derail constitutional change, as long as they are distributed across a majority of the States?
“Whatever the outcome of the referendum, there are serious lessons here for how Australians think about other provisions of the Constitution. This is especially important where the Constitution does not reflect modern Australia, including for example some of the limits on who can become a member of Parliament in section 44.”
Recent commentary from Dr Chiam:
- ABC News: More than 70 university law academics say Voice 'not constitutionally risky' in letter to Australian public
- The Bendigo Advertiser: Bendigo legal expert pushes back against Voice 'No' arguments
Professor Luis Eslava Arcila
Research Professor of International Law
Professor Luis Eslava is an award-winning researcher in international law, development and global governance and has been recently joined La Trobe to lead the Law School’s Research Group on International Law and Global Transformation.
Quotes attributable to Professor Eslava:
Yes: “If Yes is the preferred option in the Voice referendum, the Australian nation would embark on a long learning journey based on a common understanding that First Nations Peoples’ participation in public policy making is a basic democratic principle in the country. This is an overdue step towards the constitutional recognition of First Nations Peoples and of Australia’s respect of already biding international instruments related to Indigenous Peoples.”
No: “If No is the preferred outcome, attention need to be directed towards ensuring that voting patterns, at the federal and state level, are not instrumentalized in order to further disenfranchise First Nations peoples. Most of all, a defeat in the referendum should not be used as an opportunity to undermine the legitimate claims made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples for direct representation.”
Emeritus Professor Dennis Altman
Vice Chancellor’s Fellow
Emeritus Professor Altman is a Vice Chancellor's Fellow and Professorial Fellow in the Institute for Human Security at La Trobe University. He was Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard in 2005 and listed by The Bulletin as one of the 100 most influential Australians ever. He can discuss the following topics:
- Why we need to better understand Indigenous dispossession and its continuing legacy
- What are the implications of the vote for the republican movement? Do they make it more likely the monarchy is safe?
Recent commentary from Emeritus Professor Altman:
- Crikey: What the marriage equality vote can teach us about the Voice referendum
- 3CR: The Voice, Dennis Altman; Q+Law, LGBTIQA+ Peer-led Legal Service, Tara Suamba
Dr Dominic Kelly
Honorary Research Fellow Politics
Quotes attributable to Dr Kelly:
“There is a palpable sense of excitement on the Australian right about the potential for a No vote to lead to a wider transformation of Indigenous affairs, along the assimilationist lines advocated by Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price.
“They ignore the unique advantage the No campaign has enjoyed in focusing its opposition on a little-understood proposal requiring double majority support in a standalone referendum.
“Elections will decide the future direction of Indigenous policy, and they are won and lost on a vast array of factors, not a single issue. But conservatives will also be confronted with the simple fact that the vast majority of Indigenous Australians reject assimilation and will continue their centuries-long fight for self-determination.”
Recent commentary from Dr Kelly:
- The Market Herald: Hearing the Voice over the noise
- Crikey: What a 20th-century German intellectual can tell us about the Voice debate