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
Submission date

Palm Beach QLD 4221

Dear Co-Design Body

Submission for Co-design process

I grew up in Murwillumbah which is Minjingbal, Bundjalung and Yugambeh area. I didn't know who the Traditional Owners were when I went to school here - it was never mentioned. Phrases like "died out" were sprinkled into our schooling, but we now know that was not true and despite attempts to destroy previous generations, Traditional Owners are all around us, still looking after their Country.

Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
It has been 54 years since the Australian Government has asked citizens to have their say about the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples - the 1967 Referendum proved that Australians can do what's right. They voted overwhelmingly yes to include Indigenous people as citizens. It still blows me away that people my age were born without being given a birth certificate. But 54 years is quite long enough to ignore the fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples deserve a legal say in the governing of their Country.

How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
Ensuring Indigenous voice to parliament will improve the lives of all communities. No community can be considered healthy and functioning while there are huge disparities in wealth, income, services, facilities, opportunities and quality of life. A voice to Parliament will direct resources to communities most at need which enriches us all.

Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
Once again, still can't believe that it has been 54 years since the Australian Government has asked its citizens whether or not Indigenous peoples should have their rights protected in the Constitution, the same way that non-Indigenous citizens have their rights protected. Legislation is easily changed - look how easily Native Title Laws were rescinded - to be virtually ineffective for communities. Protect Indigenous rights the same way non-Indigenous rights are protected, constitutionally. A constitution is a rule book for living and governing. It is not as susceptible to political whims.

Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
I think it is fair to say that all matters affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people - this isn't about preserving a little section of governance just for Indigenous communities - it is about seeing the rightful place of Indigenous representatives in place of governance for everyone. Australians are finally coming to understand that Indigenous peoples have knowledges that benefit us all - look at the firestorms of last year and how Indigenous knowledges of fire have been used to mitigate that happening in the future. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples understand our Country better than anyone.

Please, just do it!

Thank you