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Submission Number
ACTU Retired Unionists Network
Submission date
Main Submission Automated Transcript

https://www.actu.org.au/get-involved/retired unionists network

Interim Report to the Australian Government
Indigenous Voice Co-Design Process
January 2021

ACTU Retired Unionists’ Network (RUN) Submission
April 2021

The ACTU Reired Unionists’ Network endorses the First Nations Uluru Statement from the
Heart. Especially, RUN recognises that now is the time for makarrata – a Yonghu word signifying the
coming together after a struggle. For many years, First Nations people have struggled deeply and
now is certainly the time for us all to come together. If the undisputed sovereignty of First Nations
people to be fully recognised by all Australians, a First Nations Voice must first be enshrined in the
Australian Constitution and RUN fully supports that objective.

It is not enough that a First Nations Voice be enshrined in legislation - such legislation could
be emasculated or even abolished by successor governments. Rather, such a Voice must be included
in the Australian Constitution, following a referendum. RUN is confident that, properly informed,
the Australian people would overwhelmingly endorse such a referendum. In 2019, the Australian
Government commited ”to hold a referendum with regard to a National Voice.” Now is the time to
follow through on that election commitment!

Further, we note that the Uluru Statement calls for “a Makarrata Commission to supervise
a process of agreeement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about
our history.” Again, we endorse this objective and, in doing so, we note the establishment and
success some time ago of a similar Truth, Justice and Reconciliation commission in Timor L’este.

Rodger Smith
National Chair
ACTU Retired Unionists’ Network