Thank you for the opportunity to make a submission in response to the Indigenous Voice Discussion Paper.
I live on the land of the Ngaro people though was raised and grew up on Wurundjeri land. Although not of aboriginal or islander descent, I am passionate about aboriginal rights as I am of European Jewish parentage and much of my close family were murdered in the Nazi genocide. My submission, therefore, comes very much from my heart- I know about discrimination,disempowerment and genocidal practices. I recognize the violent colonisation of this land and have a deep commitment to justice for all- in this case, and with urgency, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The lack of recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders is a sorry state of affairs and needs immediate change. The Australian constitution, since its inception, has served to benefit white Australians at the expense of the country’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It’s time to make a change. Their voices must be enshrined in the constitution, and treaties must be negotiated with traditional custodians. All Australians need to gain a better understanding of the land we inhabit. Only then can we begin the processes of healing this divided nation.
Thus, the government must honour its election commitment to a referendum once the model for the Voice has been settled; it must enable legislation for the Voice to be passed after a referendum has been held in the next term of Parliament; and the membership model for the National Voice must ensure previously unheard Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the same chance of being selected as established leadership figures.
Enshrining the Voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Constitution will contribute to a just recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and progress the struggle for sovereignty and self-determination.
I thank you for considering my submission and look forward to your considered response.