1041

Submissions: Your Feedback

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Submission Number
1041
Participant
Robyn Gordon
Submission date
Main Submission File
Main Submission Automated Transcript

A VOICE ENSHRINED IN THE CONSTITUTION
I seek a unified Australia.
I know deep in my heart, mind and soul that this
is, without any reservation, the most important
work the Australian parliament and government
will ever do for ALL Australians.
I am a 58-year-old woman, born to Australian
parents in Penrith west of Sydney in 1962. Of
Anglo and mixed immigrant descent and raised
and schooled as a Catholic, my exposure to
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and their
culture has been limited.
My childhood was spent living in the suburbs
across the road from ‘Nan & Pop’ and their family.
‘Pop’ was Aboriginal, lovable and friendly, with
the biggest smile and the best cuddles. I was
young and knew nothing of Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander history, nor his personal story
which he never shared with me.
Knowing what I know now, I can only imagine the
continuing pain lived by Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islanders dispossessed of their land, culture,
language and family. Their fear, that the daily

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A VOICE ENSHRINED IN THE CONSTITUTION
oppression which they live with will never change,
is palpable, but I am hopeful for positive change.
I believe that healing will not come until all
Australians are truly recognised and given a
constitutional voice. The time for this change is
now and this change must be well reasoned,
considered, deliberate, and from the heart (as is
their message) to be truly effective.
The peoples who have come together in their
struggle to sign the Uluru Statement from the
Heart are both ‘one’ and ‘many’, with many
different needs. A constitutionally enshrined voice
to parliament would allow these different needs
to be heard. Then and only then, when this voice
is acknowledged, may understanding grow
sufficiently to bridge the historic and cultural
divide in Australia.
In the true spirit of reconciliation, Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islanders are courageously leading
the way. Through the Uluru Statement, they
welcome all Australians to face the facts of
wrong-doing through truth-telling, to reach peace.
This is our way forward to a unified Australia.

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A VOICE ENSHRINED IN THE CONSTITUTION
The work the Australian Parliament and
Government must do is complex, difficult and
absolutely imperative.
What is needed is very clear:
1. Give Australians the opportunity to express
our views on a Voice to Parliament by a
Referendum in the next parliamentary term,
as promised.
Give Australians detailed information to
inform our decision before a Referendum is
called.
2. Create a protected, lasting, well-funded,
separate Voice, to advise Parliament on
legislation and policy.

3. Ensure that ALL Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander communities have member
representatives in the Voice, so that their
diverse needs inform future government
policy, programs and structures.
That sounds practical and fair to me.

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