To whom it may concern,
Submission for Co-design process
My name is Anouschka Blake and I am a proud descendant of the Kuku Ngungkal (Mungumby) Kungandji (Yarrabah) and Butchulla (Fraser Island) nations peoples. I have studied Hairdressing (Trade) Certificate at Charles Darwin University, Certificate IV in Pastoral Care at Alphacrusis College and Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education. I am currently in the role of Youth Worker - Indigenous Identified at Vocational Partnerships Group (VPG). VPG is a transition service for 15 to 25 year old youth to provide support to engage in Employment, Education, Training and Personal Development.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is important because it gives First Nations people a voice in decision-making processes that impact on our families and the generations to come by raising awareness and bringing solutions to the ongoing oppressive affects of 'systemic racism' and 'intergenerational trauma' that our Indigenous people face.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
A Voice to Parliament empowers Indigenous Australian people’s sense of self worth and purpose by improving our mental health and well-being. 85% of the cause of deaths in Indigenous people is directly related to poor mental health. Intergenerational trauma caused by assimilation has left deep wounding in the hearts of our Indigenous Australian people. A Voice to Parliament would see Indigenous youth empowered in meaningful Employment and Education opportunities which will change the narrative of families by lifting them out of 'generational poverty.' Because Indigenous Australian’s culture embraces a deep connection to land, sea, sky and waterway and as the oldest surviving culture, Indigenous Australian culture has much to offer the world and is absolutely essential for our potential to thrive on all levels and walk together for a better future. I believe a Voice to Parliament would see ‘systemic racism’ as less acceptable in our communities and all. Australians would be better educated on the horrific history upon which our nation was built.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
It is important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them because Australia’s current system of Government is not serving our people well, in fact, the current British 'hierarchical system' of control is contrary to Indigenous culture, which values a family system of life. Indigenous people know what Indigenous people need and have much to offer mainstream Australia and the world. Self determination and having a say in important matter for Indigenous Australians will facilitate healing, restoration and reconciliation for Indigenous communities. Current Government’s absence of a First Nations Voice in the Parliament protected by the Constitution is 're-traumatising' Indigenous people who already suffer from this epidemic called ‘intergenerational trauma’ caused by past and present Australian Government policies.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
It would have greater impact to enshrine the First Nations Voice to Parliament in the Constitution because the Constitution directly influences decision-making processes and truth-telling which creates change through the integration of policies and laws that directly affect the empowerment of Indigenous people. It means our Indigenous people's voices will be heard and we can walk together as a nation for a better future for all.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. FOR FAR TOO LONG OUR FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE’S VOICES HAVE BEEN SHUT DOWN. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!