1081

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Submission Number
1081
Participant
Geoff Thompson
Submission date

I support the call for the constitutional change necessary to establish a First Nations' Voice with a permanent role in our political processes. Such a Voice, and all that it would represent, is long overdue. Further delay simply compounds the tragic consequences of the colonization of this land. As proposed, a Voice will help to stem the silencing and marginalization of First Nations people and be a permanent reminder to Australia's other peoples of the need to listen.

I make this submission as a Australian of British descent who has benefited in so many ways from the processes and legacies of colonization. It has been too easy for me not to listen to the insights and desires of Australia’s First Nations peoples. The establishment of a Voice will be one way of making me and others like me in this nation more attentive to those histories, insights and desires.

I make this submission also as a Christian theologian with an overdue but growing awareness of the complicity of Christianity in colonization. I am aware that remnants of a certain kind of Christian imprimatur live on in our constitution and parliament, thus reinforcing certain reminders of the sources of First Nations' dispossession. The existence of a Voice would represent the acceptance in that domain of the wisdom that has so long been denied in the name of an unduly influential Christianity.

I urge the government to take all necessary steps to enable the referendum to be held as soon as possible.