To whom it may concern
Co-design process: Submission
Hi, I am a State Government employee and member of the Deadly Yarning Circle within my organisation. I was born in Christchurch New Zealand and have since permanently moved to Australia, gained citizenship and been gainfully employed in this country since I was 16. I'm a proud resident of the beautiful Gold Coast and someone who wants to be a better ally to the Indigenous First Nations Peoples of this country.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
Constitutional enshrinement of a First Nations Voice is the only form of recognition that garnered the collective endorsement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples themselves. Only through a constitutional referendum will the Voice have the public legitimacy and authority it needs to make sure the government and Parliament will take its advice seriously. Only constitutional enshrinement can give the Voice the necessary stability and certainty in its operation, free from the fear of abolition by one government to the next, while allowing for flexibility in design. If the government doesn’t take leadership on this issue, we, the Australian people, will lose the opportunity to achieve the wider objectives of constitutional recognition of First Nations, and lose the opportunity to say that we are a nation committed to developing and sustaining a respectful relationship with First Nations peoples.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
A Voice to Parliment would assist in more purposeful bridging of gaps between members of my community. It could be a positive step in a long journey that we each need to be part of.
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 to enshrine this in the Constitution to protect it, raise its legal status level and reduce the ability for this Voice to be dismantled in future.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
A Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution means empowering our people to have a direct say in laws and policies in conditions that enable certainty, durability and more long-term planning. It is only right and fair and well overdue for this to occur and we cannot proceed with the current status in good conscience any longer.