2039

Submissions: Your Feedback

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Submission Number
2039
Participant
Michelle Arrow
Submission date

Michelle Arrow
Eastwood NSW 2122

Dear Co-Design Body

Submission for Co-design process

My name is Michelle Arrow and I am an historian, working on the lands of the Wallamattagal clan of the Dharug Nation in Sydney. I was raised in a small country town in Central Western NSW, on Wiradjuri country. I was the first person in my family to attend university.

Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
I am writing to voice my support for the Uluru Statement and a First Nations voice to Parliament protected by the constitution. I believe that the Uluru Statement is one of the most important documents ever to be produced in this country. It is an open, gracious gift to all of us from First Nations people, an invitation to walk together to a better future.

Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
Indigenous people form a small percentage of the population, and hence they will never create a voting bloc with sufficient clout to achieve urgent and much-needed change through the processes of parliamentary democracy. Indigenous people suffer from the continuing colonisation of their lands every day and the evidence is clear: the rates of incarceration, the appalling incidence of deaths in custody, reduced life expectancy, and rates of child removal. It is clear that the solutions implemented by mostly white politicians do not work. It is time for Indigenous people to contribute to policies that impact on their lives.

Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
The Voice to Parliament must exist beyond the whims of governments. It must be protected from interference as a genuinely representative body for First Nations People.

How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
A Voice to Parliament could only increase all Australian's awareness of the issues that adversely impact on First Nations peoples. It could also raise our awareness of the preciousness, the value of Australian Indigenous cultures. Very few of us know enough about Indigenous languages, about caring for country, about cultures and customs. We should know more. A Voice to Parliament would open the door to greater knowledge and awareness for all of us.

Kind regards,
Michelle Arrow