Yes, Australian Public Servants Can Advocate On The Voice
The referendum on the Voice to Parliament is sparking conversations across Australia, including within the Australian Public Service (APS). Some no campaigners are claiming that public servants can't express their views because they must remain a-political. That's a furphy. APS employees have every right to express their opinions on the referendum, as outlined in the guidance provided by the Australian Public Service Commission.
While APS employees commitment to integrity and impartiality is essential, APSC guidance shows how sharing personal views as private citizens can be fully in line with these roles. Upholding impartiality doesn't mean self censoring or suppressing personal beliefs. Furthermore, an important role of public servants is to explain government policies. Support for the referendum and the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which calls for the Voice, are government policy.
The referendum is an opportunity for every Australian to participate actively in shaping our nation. Our public servants' ability to engage openly on this as private citizens is testament to the strength of our democracy.
Read my article on the three reasons why I'm voting Yes.
(c) Gregory Andrews 2023