To whom it may concern
Submission for Co-design process
I am from Newcastle NSW, and live on Awabakal country. I was born here and can trace my ancestry back to white settlers arriving in Australia in the mid 1800s, some convicts. I went through primary school in the 1980s, where we were only taught a very small amount about our Indigenous community and the vast history of the country we call Australia.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
We have a troubling history here in Australia, where the country was taken over by European settlers very much to the detriment of the Indigenous peoples who lived here for thousands of years prior. We must start acknowledging this history and the many injustices that have happened since, if we want to create a cohesive and just society moving forward.
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 is the founding document of our country. It is right and proper to include the original inhabitants of this land in this formative document, not in subsequent legislation.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
In years past, Indigenous people have not had a voice. People who "knew better" made terribly patronising decisions with no thought to the impact. It is only fair and really the very least we can do as a society, to ensure that our Indigenous communities have a voice now. Every non Indigenous Australian should be advocating for this as well.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
Australians place a great deal of value on things being fair - getting a fair go, even stevens, we just like equity. If our Indigenous peoples finally have a true say in the national parliament of the country that they inhabited long long before the rest of us, surely this is a good start towards closing the gap.
We need some real action on this now. It's waited too long.