Dear Co-Design Body
Submission to Co-design process
I am a freelance musician and a university lecturer, who has worked extensively with indigenous musicians, both in Australia and in other countries. I have a PdD from Sydney University in music. In addition to being asked frequently to lecture at universities in Australia, I have, for example designed and taught semester-long courses at Princeton University in the USA. I grew up mostly in Hawai'i. I learned my music in Japan, where I have lived for over eight years.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is one of those win-win propositions that begs the question why wouldn't you support it? The only way that this country can improve is for everyone and their lives to improve. Improvement is made from within. As a non-indigenous person, I cannot 'improve' indigenous people. I can only improve myself. The only way I can improve myself is to support as best I can, the effort of others, including Indigenous people to help themselves.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
It is preferable to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution rather than include it only in legislation for several reasons. It gives it the status and legal standing befitting it. It helps to deters any government of the day to change or repeal the law on a whim or for political expediency.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
It is important for everyone to have a say in matters that affect them. This is part of what makes a country a democracy. The difference between Indigenous people in Australia and other people, is that they have had little or no say in the matters that affect them.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
A Voice to Parliament would improve the lives of my community because it would be one more step towards improving the lives of Indigenous people, and indigenous people are part of my community.