1342

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Submission Number
1342
Participant
Alex Jovanovski
Submission date

The Uluru Statement from the Heart marks an important moment in our shared Australian history. The statement signifies a sincere and moving invitation from First Nations Peoples to “walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future”. This deeply spiritual statement from the heart crucially provides the guideposts for a future where we can all move forward together. It rightly calls for overdue structural reform, including constitutional change in the enshrinement of voice and a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making and truth-telling. These reforms are: Voice, Treaty, Truth. In order to ensure First Nations Peoples are afforded fundamental human rights (in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) to have a say over their own affairs, these reforms must be met in full and in sequential order.
Human rights by their very purpose and nature transcend the bounds of time and political power. It is for this reason that I stand in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution. These reforms are well overdue and the path forward as outlined in the Uluru Statement from the Heart is fair, practical and will help to unify and heal our nation. Constitutional enshrinement of voice will ensure a structural anchor exists to safeguard the longevity of efforts to achieve fair and equitable outcomes for First Nations Peoples. Furthermore, I unquestionably supports the following actions:
- The government must honour its election commitment to a referendum once a model for the Voice has been settled;
- Enabling legislation for the Voice must 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.
This is about human rights – the same human rights that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia deserve. I am calling on the Government to listen and act accordingly.