1023

Submissions: Your Feedback

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Submission Number
1023
Participant
Helen Abrahams
Submission date
Main Submission Automated Transcript

SUBMISSION TO INDIGENOUS VOICE CO-DESIGN PROCESS

I support the Uluru Statement from the Heart and it’s outcome to secure a voice for
Indigenous people to parliament, protected by the constitution.
I believe that the Uluru Statement represents the consensus views of Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people who participated at the First Nations National Constitutional
Convention which was supported by the Government and was a comprehensive inclusive
process.
The Uluru Statement provides an important opportunity for Australia to address the legacies
caused by the dispossession of its Indigenous peoples and provides a pathway to self-
determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart calls for the enshrinement of a First Nations Voice in
the Australian Constitution with the power to advise the Australian parliament on laws that
affect Indigenous peoples, and the establishment of a Makarrata Commission to oversee a
process of treaty making and truth-telling.
I believe that truth-telling and treaty must be the building blocks for uniting all Australians
behind this campaign.
It is vital that First Nations Peoples have a Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution
so that their views at the local, regional and national level are heard and respected by the
Parliament on all issues which impact directly on them.
Government engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has been
marked by bureaucratic, top-down decision making in which they are positioned as
recipients rather than as active participants.
If we are to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians regarding
outcomes in education, employment, income, health and life expectancy, they must have a
voice protected by the Constitution. It must be established by a referendum which polling
indicates is supported by a majority of Australians. A legislated Voice would not give First
Nation’s Peoples the certainty they demand as stated in the Uluru Statement from the Heart
because governments change, with the risk that legislation can be amended to remove a
First Nations Voice.
The co-design proposals in the Interim Report should ensure that there is two-way
communication between the National Voice and local and regional voices representing their
communities.
Recognition of Indigenous Voice has been an election promise of the last three Prime
Ministers of Australia. It is now time to sit down with Indigenous people and deliver this
promise.
Regards

Helen Abrahams