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

Wallsend NSW 2287

To whom it may concern

Co-design process: Submission for

I live on Awabakal land and I am a PhD candidate in English (Creative Writing) at the University of . I have a background in newspaper journalism and have always loved the nature of storytelling. My project involves research into the islands of the Coquun (Hunter River) and the history of both the river and the land. I am interested in the physical archive that landscape represents, whether directly or metaphysically.

Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
I think the key is in the title. It is from the heart of our First Nations peoples and if they felt strongly enough to listen to their own hearts and put it into words we would understand, it's the very least we could do to open our own hearts and really hear what they have to say.

How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
I feel that an Indigenous Voice to Parliament would provide a light for others to follow, it would allow non-Indigenous members of the community to sit and listen and learn something about this country's history and the effects it still has on our First Nations peoples. A collaborative approach to community-building is the only way forward from my perspective. There is no such thing as a true community when large sections of it are left out.

Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
Because this document that is constantly lauded as some kind of birth certificate of this nation is not something that is relevant in today's Australia. It needs to include a Voice to Parliament because the voices of Indigenous people should always have been included in any guiding document for the future of this country. Their voices were here long before ours, and our Constitution should reflect that.

Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
Because the history of colonisation is stealing the voices of Indigenous people, removing their rights and their ability to speak out in order to be counted. It is not just an historical practice, it continues today with black deaths in custody, the destruction of sacred sites by neo-liberal regimes, the cashless welfare card, and the list sadly goes on and on. By giving Indigenous people a voice, they can begin to take their rightful place in the rooms where decisions are made about their future.

I am saddened that the Uluru Statement from the Heart was not heard and taken into the hearts of our government at the time it was delivered. I believe the cultural deafness exhibited by our political leaders can only be overcome when the voices of Indigenous people and their non-Indigenous allies speak loudly and from the heart until they are heard.

Thank you,