Dear Co-Design Body
Submission for Co-design process
I currently live in New Lambton, on the the traditional lands of the Pambalong clan of the Awabakal people. I have lived here for the last twenty years. I work at the University of Newcastle, where I work with a team supporting academic staff to integrate technology meaningfully into the delivery of courses. I grew up in Muswellbrook, in the Upper Hunter, the traditional lands of the Wanaruah people.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
I think is is important to acknowledge the flaw at the heart of Australia's foundation, that its civilisation, culture and history did not begin with colonisation. I think it's important to acknowledge that indigenous sovereignty was never ceded and continues, and that any other sovereignty must be able co-exist with that of the original inhabitants of the land.
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 important for Australia's constitution to honestly reflect its history and its reality, and that it is a nation with more than one recognised sovereignty.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
I look forward to the day when indigenous and non-indigenous people feel that the contributions of their communities are welcome, respected and appreciated, and that neither represents an inferior or lesser perspective. I believe a voice in parliament would be a critical step in this direction.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
As a firm believer in the values of liberalism, I believe self-determination to be important, both to individuals and as a collective. In Australia's case, I think this is important not only for the dignity of the indigenous people, but as a demonstration of humility and appreciation of Aboriginal culture on the part of the country's more recent inhabitants.