To Co-Design Body
Submission to Co-design process
I am UK-born but have lived in Australia since 1982 and have been
increasingly engaged with First Nations cultures since 1985 when I
attended a pan-tribal dance festival on Groote Eylandt. As a result of this
growing appreciation and understanding, I have written hundreds of
stories as a journalist, essays for magazines and a film for the ABC on
aspects of the art, cultures and politics of this country's first peoples.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
I am aware of the deterioration of conditions in many Indigenous
communities and place much blame on the wilful destruction of
Aboriginal societies by the colonial process. I therefore an convinced that
a restoration of authority for the elders which should result from the
Voice and truth-telling inherent in the Uluru Statement's acceptance is
vital for our First Nations to be restored to their proper place in the
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
My cosy Sydney North Shore community may have a greater
appreciation of distant First Nations cultures than when I first
encountered them in 1985 - but there's a mighty way to go to genuine
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the
Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
The mutability of political action regarding Indigenous Australia has been
crazy. John Howard's Intervention is the most extreme example of
governments not listening and acting for purely political results. With
such waywardness as evidence, why would First Nations accept anything
less than an immutable constitutional position in the country that they
nurtured for 60,000 years?
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters
that affect them?
How can any society or community retain its dignity when no one listens
to it, but, instead, sends down streams of 'solutions' and meaningless
money from Canberra?