2168

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Submission Number
2168
Participant
Anonymous
Submission date
Main Submission File
Main Submission Automated Transcript

1

Statement on the Recognition of Aboriginal & Torres Straits Islander people in
the AUSTRALIAN CONSTITUTION

I have been in this country for over 30 years. I feel I am one of the Aborigines in my earlier life
because I deeply feel that so much of social injustice that Aboriginal people have went through
in their own land and that too after looking after this land for over 60-70,000 years, peacefully
and with diligence, with various tribes that existed at that time.

This is the respect and recognition that they got in their own land!

The have such a rich culture and heritage that we, non-indigenous people, fail to recognize
because of our bias.

The spirituality of the Indigenous people is to embrace everyone and share everything. We should
be graceful and grateful enough to correct the injustice meted out to them and accord them their
rightful place in their land, we live.

In fact, we should ‘walk with them’ and hear their ‘Voice for respect and dignity’

Former Labor PMs Paul Keating & Kevin Rudd delivered The Mabo legislation of Land rights and
Sorry to the First Nation's people, respectively

Former Liberal PM Howard in 2007, made the case for Aboriginal Recognition, in stating that “I
believe we must find room in our national life to formally recognise the special status of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first peoples of our nation. We must recognise the
distinctiveness of Indigenous identity and culture and the right of Indigenous people to preserve
that heritage.

Thus, governments of both persuasions have retained bi-partisan commitment for Constitutional
recognition of Aborigines and Torres Straights islander people
2

So, what are we waiting for? Any discussions between the Indigenes and Non-indigenes people
on the process and model could be resolved by Legislative & Executive measures.

I would like the following statement be put for the referendum for the above Constitutional
Amendment for recognizing Aborigines and Torres Straights islander people

‘The nation and people of Australia formally recognise the prior Sovereignty of Australia’s First
People, commits to an ongoing process of truth-telling in our history and agreement making
with them, and to the continued sharing of our rich Aboriginal cultural heritage as an integral
part of our national identity’

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Uluru statement is calling for the establishment of the voice enshrined in the constitution. It is
not a demand but a reminder and statement of a historical fact that this was the first voice
sounded on this land, we call Australia

I am , an Australian and Indian by DNA. I was born in India and moved to Melbourne for
better life prospects. Before moving here, I have heard that Australia is a multicultural and the
most ethnically diverse country in the world. She is welcoming, inclusive and embrace cultural
diversity. And I wasn’t wrong from the first day I felt that I belong here.

This sense of belonging and connection deepens as I tend and care for the land, I now call home.
As an environmental; and sustainability professional, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to
assist in the protection, management and restoration of the sacred land of Wurundjeri people
of Kulin nation. But sometimes I question where are the people, the community who took care
of this land for more than 70,000 years?
3

I have come to believe the sense of belonging, home, place and voice enjoyed by us non-
Indigenous subject — the colonizer or migrant — is based on the dispossession of the original
owners of the land and the denial of their rights under international customary law. (An example
my daughter is learning Chinese language but is not taught Dreaming stories or the native
language at school).

We cannot possibly undo the neglect, injustices and harm done to First nation people in the past
and present. But we can try and amend it by starting a dialogue which is based on trust and
respect. First nation people have made the move by submitting the Uluru statement written from
heart guided by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives. Now we need to stop
and listen and give our first nations people the respect, recognition and representation they
deserve in our country's most important document. This will empower them and the
communities which have suffered over the years due to the physical, mental abuse, neglect and
trauma. Until then, we can't call ourselves mature, just, plural and democratic society.

Enshrining the voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in constitution will ensure
that they have a real say in decisions that affect them (and Australia), instead of being governed
by colonial powers. Embracing and integrating first nation people concerns, traditional
knowledge and incredible wisdom would make us wiser and more sustainable as a nation. This is
the recognition of First Nations’ sovereignty and First Nations’ rights based on their unique
political and cultural existence. Sovereignty is not undermined nor diminished by Voice, Treaty
and Truth.

We support and stand in solidarity with the Uluru statement