To Co-Design Body
Submission for Co-design process
Now retired but continuing to participate in community life through volunteering for example being a crisis support worker for Lifeline.. Having grown up in New Zealand I've witnessed how the equal empowerment of all citizens has made the country a more wholesome and authentic democracy. Being involved in service professions of nursing and teaching I've witnessed first hand the disproportionate disadvantages.that marginalized and unrecognized peoples face in daily life.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
It's important because merely recognising Indigenous Australians only through words as part of constitutional reform does not create the imperative to hear the past, present and future concerns and formulate actions to remediate. The 3 objectives of voice, treaty and truth will facilitate genuine recognition through offering a form and process whereby their opinions can be heard in the formulation of policies and laws which directly impact on them.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
Living in an urban setting it's often been that I have no direct contact with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. A voice would mean that issues and solutions will be covered in the media more and therefore I can learn more about their culture which will only enrich my life and by extension the life of our nation.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
Legislation can be changed through our very partisan form of Government so giving no certainty or continuity in the issues before us as we try to reconcile the past and go forward meaningfully together. Just formal recognition in our Constitution that Aboriginal peoples are actually part of the fabric of our society will remain a symbolic gesture without having a constitutionally recognised voice that ensures their equal participation in areas that directly impact on their lives and culture.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
Aboriginal tribes created the first sovereign nations in what we now call Australia. This sovereignty has never been ceded and so they have a human right to have a say in matters that affect them and they are generously and sincerely offering for this to happen in a shared sovereignty with the Crown of Australia. Since the arrival of the British the attitude of government has been to impose their value systems under which Aborigines have not thrived compounded by inconsistency of policy and funding. They want to be treated with respect by us acknowledging that when it comes to policies they are far more likely to know what will successfully work.