1071

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Submission Number
1071
Participant
Anonymous
Submission date

I moved to Australia 7 years ago and I am now a citizen. One of the harder things to understand about my adopted home has been the treatment of Indigenous Australians. In particular, how it differs from the treatment of First Nation Peoples in other countries (for example, lack of a treaty, unified voice and representation).

Whilst Indigenous people are constantly acknowledged as the ‘traditional owners of the land’ and Indigenous art seems to hang prominently inside the foyer of major institutions, Indigenous people appear to have no voice or mechanisms to make decisions about their communities futures’. Indigenous groups have been structurally locked out of the systems which were created without them.
Without an enshrined voice in the constitution Indigenous lives and futures will always be determined by others through the systems imported during colonisation. Systems that completely omit the existence of a native population and allow others to speak on their behalf. (When I was told that Tony Abbott used to be the Envoy for Indigenous Affairs – I laughed and googled it on the spot because the concept was so absurd to me).

The education, health and social outcomes of Indigenous people are much lower than the rest of the population. The initiatives and work that have been undertaken to date, has not reduced these outcomes. There needs to be a significant shift in approach and Indigenous people have explained time and time again the changes that they wish to see.

During my 7 years in this country, I have loved learning Australia’s wonderful concept of ‘a fair go’. It’s time to give Indigenous Australians the voice and empowerment they need to finally give them the ‘fair go’ that has been denied to them.