Submission to the Australian Government in response to the Indigenous Voice
Co-Design Process interim report January 2021.
For too long Aboriginal voices have been suppressed and silenced by successive
generations of government. The time has come for this government to concede the
right of the peoples of the First Nations of this country to enshrine their Voice in the
Constitution of Australia.
Increasingly Australians are supporting changing the Constitution to provide for a
First Nations’ people’s Voice to Parliament. In the 2019 election this government
promised a referendum during its first term. This promise is broken. When the model
for the Voice has been decided, this government must honour its commitment to hold
a referendum to enshrine the Voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples.
The referendum must now be held in the next term of Parliament, following which
legislation for enshrining the Voice must be passed. The words for amending the
Constitution need to be submitted to the Australian people at the referendum.
Following completion of the Voice Co-Design Final Report the Australian public will
need to see and consider details of the Voice prior to a referendum. The legislative
design of the Voice must not be able to be separated from its constitutional
Restricting the membership for the National Voice to 18 as proposed in the interim
Voice Co-Design Report would be ineffective. The Joint Selection Committee
supported that a Voice should be legitimate and credible among Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander peoples in local and regional communities; effective in
advancing self-determination and positive outcomes for those communities and
capable of achieving the support of the majority of Australians. There must be
adequate provision for frontline and community representatives from all Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islanders, including those from Remote and Regional areas, to be
directly involved in making decisions concerning their communities at a National
A Voice enshrined in the Constitution is fair and practical and supported by most
Australians and will unify the whole Nation. I make this submission in response to the
Interim Voice Co-Design Report.