Balmoral, QLD 4171
Dear Co-Design Body
Submission for Co-design process
I am first generation born Australian, to two Kiwi parents, growing up in Perth, but more recently lived in Darwin for 4 years. The reason for moving to Darwin was to be the State Executive for a global Insurance Broking firm, but little did I realise the education and opportunity this role would naturally afford me to build a cultural understanding of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This led me to also become the Chairperson of our Reconciliation Action Plan to build that knowledge throughout our organisation. I have visited many remote communities and now understand how unique and distinct each community is in its challenges, opportunities, societal issues and geography, highlighting to me that blanket Federal approaches to Closing the Gap simply would always fail - it needs to be considered in the context of each community and their individual circumstances.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
As mentioned, through my experience in visiting various communities, it is evident that each community requires a different approach to reconciliation and the fact that the first Prime Minister to ever visit Tennant Creek was Malcolm Turnbull only a couple of years ago, shows our Federal Ministers, who currently make decisions for our Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples are out of touch and simply do not understand the impact of the decisions they do make. Having a Federal Voice from our Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander leaders will make impactful positive steps towards healing the past and reconciliation.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
Our Indigenous people have a completely different culture to white Australians, their connection to the land, art, music and societal constructs are very different and they should be making decisions for themselves and what works for each of their communities within fair parameters that we can all understand and accept as we should do in a multi-cultural society for all Australians. There has been a long history of disenchantment and suppression that equally, our Indigenous leaders should have the right to provide insights as to how we can actually change this.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
Create opportunities for reconciliation, broader cultural awareness and understanding, and pave a way forward that is bright and inclusive
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
The Constitution for many years didn't even recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as human beings, it is about time their voices are recognised by the Constitution.