Submissions: Your Feedback

Submissions from people and organisations who have agreed to have their feedback published are provided below.

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Submission Number
Kate Crawford
Submission date
Main Submission Automated Transcript

Kate Crawford

To Co-Design Body

Co-design process: Submission for Kate Crawford

I am still working part time after a long professional life as a teacher, researcher, a
university academic and business person investigating ways to enhance human problem
solving and wellbeing in changing technical contexts. This has included participation in
technical and social innovation projects globally. During that time, I have been involved
in programs for Indigenous people and much more productive enterprises in which they
were actively engaged in co-deign and co-evaluation of their participation in the broader
community. I am still actively engaged in supporting Indigenous enterprises. I have the
greatest respect for, and friendships with, the people I have worked with.

Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
I think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is an important opportunity because:

1. The broader population is still very much shaped by the lies, bigotry, and assumed
privileges that were used by our government to justify our colonial beginning and
resulting culture.

2. At this time when there is an existential climate threat to the very survival of humanity
we need to recognize and learn to share and build on the wisdom of 65,000 year old
longest continuing culture on the planet

3. The Uluru Statement from the heart represents a very generous proposal for a road
map towards an evolved democratic structure in which Indigenous people have a say in
matters and laws affecting their lives and the wellbeing of the environment in which they
live. This would represent a major innovation in Australia if extended to all Australian

Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution,
rather than include it only in legislation?
Our parliament is only as representative of the people as we are able to hold them to
account. Most recently, on other matters, the disconnect between politics and
community needs has been evident. Two examples are the pandemic response and the
politicization of the looming climate crisis. We need to build a basis within our
constitution than ensures our legislation enables the Voices of Indigenous people to be
heard regardless of the government in power.

How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
There is a growing recognition in my professional and suburban community of the
importance of truth and integrity as a basis for making the necessary changes towards a
sustainable future. People are also questioning the wisdom of discounting environmental
destruction in the processes of creating wealth for some. Despite the racist stereotypes
underpinning many political messages in Australia, a growing number of talented
Indigenous people are well educated in the mainstream culture. They are passionate to
use modern technologies and scientific knowledge to build sustainable practices and to
share their knowledge. The Firesticks collaboration with local bushfire fighters in
preventative measures is an example. Many young people are searching for a way to
live in harmony in the environment and to mitigate the worst of the climate disaster
resulting from previous human activity. Our continuing unique Indigenous culture is an
essential part of creating a more harmonious future in Australia for our children and

Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
1. Our history of abuse, incarceration and colonization has already had a huge impact
on the unique Australian culture and the knowledge it represents. Our own data shows
that the Close the Gap program and other 'top down" efforts have largely exacerbated
the situation. Other research tells us that personal and community agency and ability to
engage in workable solutions is the most effective way towards reform.

2. The broader population needs support in stopping practices that destroy our
biodiversity and the biosphere of which we are part. This understanding is central to
Indigenous cultures, A voice to parliament will help us deal with the real challenge of the
climate emergency.

I support the Uluru Voice from the Heart message in full. It will be a very important part
of the future wellbeing and prosperity of Australia and a sound basis for putting our
colonial past behind us.so we can share a future together with integrity.

Thank you,
Kate Crawford