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Enshrining a Voice to parliament is a chance to build a better future for First Nations people, but success depends on genuine partnerships, Australia's head of state says.
During the opening of parliament, Governor-General David Hurley said there was renewed ambition from the federal government for Australia to reconcile with its past.
"The government views the implementation of the Uluru Statement as an opportunity for healing and for learning from the truth of our history," he told parliamentarians.
"At the centre of the government's determination to close the gap is the belief that First Nations people, like every Australian, should be made to feel empowered."
Mr Hurley said voice, truth, treaty and closing the gap depend on building meaningful partnerships.
"The government commits to engage closely and respectfully with First Nations people and the Australian community more broadly ahead of the referendum," he said.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese urged his parliamentary colleagues to seize the opportunity of enshrining an Indigenous Voice in the constitution by supporting a referendum.
At a welcome to country ceremony to mark the opening of the 47th parliament on Tuesday, Mr Albanese restated his government's commitment to implement the Uluru Statement in full.
"What the Uluru Statement from the Heart represents is an opportunity that must be seized because if it isn't seized, it will be lost and we will be diminished," he said.
"We have to seize that opportunity and we need to seize it in this term."
Implementing the Uluru Statement was "good manners", the prime minister said, and would mean Indigenous people could advise parliament on issues that affect their lives.
The 47th parliament should be infused with humility and hope, Mr Albanese said.
He reminded MPs they were not going to be sitting in parliament forever.
"Don't miss a chance because you're not here for that long ... and when you sit on the porch, thinking about what you did, you can either have a source of pride or a source of regret," he said.
"Make it a source of pride."
While Opposition Leader Peter Dutton did not mention the referendum or Voice in his remarks, he said the next term of parliament would be important for Indigenous Australians.
He pledged the parliament would work to lift standards of living, address domestic violence and crime rates, reduce mortality rates and improve educational opportunities among the Indigenous population.
"Let this 47th parliament of Australia bring us together to implement practical changes which will improve the lives of Indigenous Australians," he said.
Governor-General Hurley said a referendum will be the first step to closing the gap, along with ceasing the Community Development Program and ending compulsory income management and the cashless debit card.
"I wish them all the best as they lead this urgent historic work, work which will promote unity and healing," he said.