Submissions: Your Feedback

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Submission Number
Mark Willett
Submission date

Barwon Heads
Victoria 3227

Dear Co-Design Body

Submission for Co-design process

I Mark Willett am a proud Australian. I was born in Sydney and grew up in Melbourne and in the South West of Victoria. But we also spent 6 years in various overseas countries when we were young. In my last year of school I studied Chinese History. When I left school, I did not go to University. I sailed around the world twice and I travelled extensively, seeing many parts of the world and many cultures. I represented Australia in International ocean racing several times. I lived in the USA and several times in the UK. My mother was English and it is that polarising culture that most fascinated me.

Back in Australia, in 1991, I founded a business in marketing and events with my father and we are now in our 31st year of operation. On average we employ 25 people and over the journey we have employed over 500 people. We have an inclusive employment policy.

I live on the coast in Barwon Heads and we have a house further down the coast at Peterborough in SW Victoria. This is an area where many atrocities are known to have occurred to First Nations People, including one in my own lifetime. I have two boys, 23 and 20. I am separated from my wife but we remain good friends.

I am making this submission because I do not believe Australia can move forwards as a Nation unless ALL of Australia's people - First Nations People, Colonial Australians and Multicultural Australians - are included and recognised by the Constitution. As Australia's first people, First Nations People are morally and ethically entitled to be recognised in the Australian Constitution and to have a Voice in their own Governance.

First Nations People need their Voice to be heard with authority as they know most about what will progress their interests, health, quality of life and, critically, the preservation of their culture. First Nations People should determine the outcomes that affect them.

The First Nations Culture(s) are a precious, unique and proud part of Australia's character and national personality. The value of this aspect of Australia's personality is undisputed, however, until Australia as a Nation, establishes authentic recognition of First Nations People and its Culture(s), Australia is not complete. How can Australia claim this rich and powerful Culture as part of it's own, yet not recognise the people it comes from and not include First Nations People in self determination?

Australia can only be complete as a Nation and grow if authenticity is established. The historical truth must be recognised (and widely available) and only when First Nations People are truly integrated into the Governance of Australia will authenticity in Australia's story be truly established. It must be enshrined and nurtured into the future.

Celebrating Australia is meaningless without the authentic inclusion of First Nations People. This can only happen when there is truth, recognition and a Voice to Parliament for First Nations People. A Voice in the highest office of the land. It's time to set the record straight, set Australia up for success and let the talent and cultures of All Australians thrive.

My community remains dominated by Colonial Australian people and to some extent, Multicultural Australians. Not enough is known about the history and truths of First Nations People and there is not enough recognition of First Nations People, those that were here before Colonial Australians. Integrating a Voice for First Nations People into Parliament will finally and authentically include First Nations People into the fabric of Australia and its development as a Nation.

Our/my community needs this aspect of Australia resolved, so that All Australia's people can grow and our children can stand for Australia with pride.

Thank you,