To Co-Design Body
Submission for Co-design process
I am a Gurindji/Malngin/Mudburra woman, who also has Anglo-Australian/Chinese/German/Irish heritage. I am an Associate Professor of Indigenous Art History and Curatorship at the Australian National University. My First Nations traditional homelands and communities are from the Victoria River District of the Northern Territory. I am the descendant of Stolen Generations members with my immediate family having lived experience of over ninety years of enforced removal. I was born on Ngoongar country, in Perth Western Australia, and have lived and worked in many states and territories throughout my life - Western Australia, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, as well as overseas in the US and Italy. I am privileged to live and work on the traditional lands - never ceded - of the Ngambri/Ngunawal/Ngunnawal Peoples in Canberra, ACT.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
The Uluru Statement places First Nations Peoples voices at the core of decision making relating to our lives in our own lands. Our peoples have fought since the earliest days of colonial contact to direct our own lives, through self-determination, not only for ourselves but for future generations.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
Through ensuring that First Nations Peoples determine and oversee programs by, for and with First Nations Peoples.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
It must be core to the Constitution, not an appendix that can be dismissed.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
For too long we have had non-Indigenous people control our lives, to our communities' detriment. It is our birthright as First Nations Peoples to determine our affairs. This is the only way we will close the ever-widening chasm of inequities between First Nations Peoples and the rest of Australian society.
We demand to not only be listened to but to have the right to speak for ourselves and deliver our own programs for the betterment of our communities, now and in the future.