Submissions: Your Feedback

Submissions from people and organisations who have agreed to have their feedback published are provided below.

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Submission Number
Amanda Schiller
Submission date

Amanda Schiller
SA, 5006

To whom it may concern

Submission for Co-design process

I am a 37 year old woman, living on Karuna country. I grew up in the Barossa Valley, on Peramangk country. My mother's family is from England and my father's ancestors are from Germany. I didn't have the opportunity to learn much about Indigenous Australia at school, the curriculum was very much focused on white Australia. I studied politics and international relations at University in Adelaide in the 2000s and it was there that I began to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their histories and how they have been affected, and continue to be affected by colonialism. I work in international development, but have also worked in Indigenous affairs and am grateful for the opportunity that experience provided me to better understand the issues that Indigenous Australians are dealing with.

Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
Because Aboriginal and Torres Strait voices need to be heard. They deserve to be represented - not in a tokenistic way and not by non-Indigenous people. Indigenous people need to have an active role in decision making on the issues that affect them.

How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
By giving Aboriginal people agency, power and motivation. Raising up their voices will also help non-Indigenous Australians to better understand their situation and the challenges they face.

Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
It's important to provide Indigenous Australians with confidence that this arrangement will be enduring, and that it cannot easily be undone or dismantled, like ATSIC so many previous arrangements have been. For a population that was denied constitutional recognition until the 1970s, enshrining the Voice in the Constitution means they will be seen. It will go some way to repairing the trauma of ongoing colonisation.

Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
It's important that Indigenous people have agency. It's important that they're involved. It's important that decisions made about them take their culture, values and views into account. Decision-making that is not inclusive is not effective. It is because of this kind of non-inclusive decision making that so many gaps persist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Thank you,
Amanda Schiller