To Co-Design Body
Co-design process: Submission
This is a collective submission from:
is a Gamilaroi woman living and deeply connected to the Illawarra and
works with communities in the Illawarra & Shoalhavan and co-
convenes stakeholders across sectors to work collectively (collective impact)
engaging, supporting and building capacity with communities to resolve the needs and
address/work on intergenerational challenges.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
The creation respectfully developed through 'right way' engagement (not just lip service
consultation) with a large number of voices from across communities.
It is a collective, unifying statement of truth that has the ability (if implemented) to unify
this land. It’s a forward looking plan for the future, to address the wrongs of the past. It is
hopeful, honest, unifying (for all Australians), collective, reflective and truthful.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
Community 'voice' should be at the centre of all co-creation, decision making and action
for all communities - holistically. A Voice to Parliament needs to be a 'just' representative
channel for communities. A Voice to Parliament would need to be listened to and acted
upon to be effective and to improve the lives of community.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
This question, in so many ways, is insulting. Every person wants and deserves a say in
the matters that affect them.
It is essential (not just important) for everyone, of all backgrounds, to have a say in the
matters that affect them.
As the traditional owners and custodians of this land it is ESSENTIAL that all Aboriginal
people have a say in matters that affect them, our communities and the land.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution,
rather than include it only in legislation?
Like a building - do you fix the foundations or do you putty the cracks? That is the
difference between constitutional amendment or a piece of legislation.
Legislation can be easily and quickly changed or reversed at the whim of those in power
at any time. Constitutional amendment requires the direct decision making of all
As the founding document of the Federation (the foundation) it says a lot about who we
are as a nation and where we are headed.
Ongoing Reconciliation and a reconciled future can only truly occur when Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander peoples, knowledges and values are reflected in the founding
document of Australia. In the absence of a treaty and compensation, constitutional
recognition is the only way forward towards reconciling Australia for the future.
Prior to The Apology to the Stolen Generations, there was similar debate and resistance
to the taking of such action and the potential repercussions of such action (which did not
It seems to us that the Uluru Statement is the next logical step, and is being met with
similar resistance and unfounded fear and concerns. Many non-Indigenous Australians
struggle with their complicity in and shame at Australia's culturally violent past and
present, the disruption of Aboriginal cultures and dislocation of Aboriginal peoples.
Constitutional recognition and a voice to Parliament goes towards addressing this in a
safe way for all Australians. Recognition of the Aboriginal people of these lands, coupled
with a Voice to Parliament in the constitution, should be a basic step of respect for our
people who are and always will be the traditional custodians. It is important for all
Australians to honour our history of tens of thousands of years, which needs therefore to
be recognised in the founding document for the commonwealth of Australia.