2211

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Submission Number
2211
Participant
Anne Annear O.A.M
Submission date
Main Submission Automated Transcript

Dear Prime Minister,

Firstly I pay my respects to the First Nations people of this country and especially I
acknowledge the Whadjuk Noongar people of W.A.

I write to you as a 90 year old West Australian who has been involved closely with the
Noongar community around Perth and nearby regions. For many years I played an advocacy
role in Housing, Equal Opportunities Commission, and related matters; for 28 years I have
been an active member of the First nations Deaths in Custody Watch Committee. Currently
I am a member of the Anglican Aboriginal Ministry Working Group which seeks to provide
events where Anglicans and others have opportunities to meet, listen to and talk with
Noongar Elders. All this has given me a deep and abiding experience of the daily suffering of
families and communities, but also of their strong spirit of their will to survive and move
forward.

I therefore urge you, Prime Minister, to accept the Uluru Statement from the Heart that so
clearly states the need for a First Nation’s Voice TO the Parliament, and:

To bring in Constitutional change that will be inclusive of the First Nations people of this
land in which they have lived and thrived for 65,000 years, until Colonisation brought about
cruel and destructive changes that have caused generational trauma.

Such moves would ensure that:
1. %First Nations people would be given the right to manage their own affairs. The
success of such a move has been clearly demonstrated in their success at keeping
their communities safe from Covid 19;
2. %Their deep knowledge of how to care for country and the natural world. The Ranger
programmes’ success is proof of this;
3. %The increasing number of First Nations people who were working in their own
businesses with great success until the impact of Covid 19;
4. %Finally, and most importantly, the urgent need in all jurisdictions for First Nations
people to be taking major responsibilities in the Justice system at every level; this
would be a large step in reducing the systemic racism which causes the abnormal
number of incarcerations and deaths of so many Indigenous people and which is a
terrible blot on our “lucky country”. Merely to provide Liaison Officers carries very
little weight and these Officers are constantly treated in a belittling way.
5. %In all States there need to be cultural changes in the Police and Corrective services to
ensure a much greater duty of care. Increasing rather than cutting funding to the
Aboriginal Legal Service nationwide would also be a start.
6. %First Nations people would and should be given the right to appoint their own
departmental leaders.

Constitutional Change is vital and long overdue. First Nations should have their full rights,
recognition and respect as the rightful owners of this land. I believe that the climate for
such a change has the support of the majority of Australians and that a referendum would
be successful.
At the Rally against Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in Perth on 15:04:21, one person put it this
way:

“As the Constitution currently stands, First Nations people are not recognised or regarded as
having equal status with all other citizens of Australia and therefore are denied their Human
Rights.” [paraphrased] This is a shocking state of affairs which demands change.

I urge you, Prime Minister to listen to the Voice of the First Nations people so clearly
expressed in the Uluru Statement that urges a Makaratta so that we may listen to the
stories, see our history more clearly and work together for a nation of which we can be
proud.

First Nations people know what is best for them and do not need to be ruled from the top
down. That time is past and the healing path has begun – let it continue!

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Yours respectfully,

Anne Annear O.A.M.