Submissions: Your Feedback

Submissions from people and organisations who have agreed to have their feedback published are provided below.

The views expressed in these submissions belong to their authors. The National Indigenous Australians Agency reserved the right not to publish submissions, or parts of submissions, that include, for example, material that is offensive, racist, potentially defamatory, personal information, is a copy of previously provided materials, or does not relate to the consultation process.

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Submission Number
Submission date

New Zealand 9371

To Co-Design Body

Submission to Co-design process

I was born in Armadale, Melbourne into an extremely privileged lifestyle. I grew up never worrying about food, money or access to education. Law and the police were there to protect me. At school we learnt about wars, applauded the glories of Australia and our allies and condemned the barbarity of how other countries treated their people. I never thought that I was living somewhere that had not only engaged in such barbarities and still continued to do so, but so flagrantly refused to acknowledge or educate future generations about them. It was only through my tertiary education, first a bachelor of arts and currently the Juris Doctorate at the University of Melbourne that I have been introduced to the systemic oppression of aboriginal and torres straight islander peoples in this country. I am ashamed it took this long for me to know of these issues, and I am disappointed in those responsible for my early education that this is the case, and I am committed to not allowing that ignorance to take hold again.

Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
It is important because it represents an opportunity for all Australian people to act with compassion and take the steps to ensure that aboriginal and torres straight islander people are no longer marginalised on this land that was stolen from them and their ancestors. It is to the benefit of all people in this country that we follow the path shown to us by the drafters of the Statement.

How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
I strongly believe that a Voice to Parliament would help the general Australian population see and understand the issues facing indigenous people in a more nuanced way. Diversity and inclusion are gifts that would enrich our communities greatly.

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 needs to be enshrined in the Constitution rather than put in legislation so that it becomes a permanent part of governing in this country, rather than part of a legislative effort that is open to interpretation and easily changeable. I believe that Constitutional enshrining of this would also mark an important symbolic moment for indigenous people and Australia as a whole, a moment of unity that could mark a new chapter for the country.

Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
Indigenous people have a right to have a say in matters that affect them. It is preposterous that it is the norm for politicians to dictate the lives of people whose customs they know next to nothing about. It is nothing but logical and fair that indigenous people be given a voice to express their concerns, make recommendations, and take control over matters affecting them.

Kind regards