2242

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Submission Number
2242
Participant
Anonymous
Submission date

Dear Co-Design Body

Submission to Co-design process

I was born in South Australia and grew up in Queensland, I've travelled every state in beautiful Australia, through central, remote regions, (Kakadu and Uluru, 20 years ago.) I have felt the raw energy and excitement of Aboriginal children isolated from the modern world and I have seen also the townships where Aboriginal families 'exist' rather than thrive on Government (financial) support. Places that didn't even feel like Australia. I feel sad we weren't taught or even given the opportunity to learn about our country's traditional land owners, their culture, heritage, beliefs and important health benefits like connection to country, family and ceremonies until I was 16 years old. I don't believe there is nearly enough importance and respect shown to the values of Indigenous Australians, both the positive and negative aspects (many of which are a direct result of 'white' colonisation and indoctrination which destroyed their collective spirit.) I'm proud to be Australian and lucky to be part of this 'free' country, but I'm embarrassed at how we have unfairly treated our wiser, elder civilization and the little attempt we give to try to understand them. While we make small progressive steps and have an abundance of networks and providers for Indigenous Australians to access, there is still so much disconnect, in so many areas: community, education (encouragement to retain language eg.), drastically improving medical and living conditions in remote areas with supporting ongoing education, purposeful rehabilitation for those disconnected and troubled, more avenues for prosperity and hope - such as giving their culture a real voice, eradicating abuse and violent acts towards incarsorated persons, approaching neglect and abuse of children with plans to educate and assist instead of removing youth, .... Celebrating Indigenous talents, stories etc. While we may wonder where to start in all of this, I think the best resolve is requesting the suggestions from the people that are affected, or who have overcome adversity in their lives.

Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
I studied a few modules in my community services certificate, facilitated by an Aboriginal woman, and the information I became aware of shocked me. At the age of 36, I had no knowledge of so many insulting, degrading, repulsive, heartbreaking acts that have been perpetrated against Indigenous Australian men and women. Our first nation people. And some of the instances of ignorance when Elders had approached the Government to offer worthwhile suggestions that were ignored. (from Tera Nullis to present day). Every Australian should be taught these things to help us understand what Indigenous people have been through, including intergenerational trauma.

Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
Do I need to answer this? We are very different people, different souls, minds and hearts. We aspire for different things and find happiness in different things. WE would ALL benifit from hearing their voice, their ideas and experiences and how that affects THEM.

How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
Troubled youth, crime, domestic violence - education to help with. Reignite hope. Shine the spotlight on positive role models. We have a fantastically incredible radio host, on our community network, Rhianna - I love listening to her and learning about her perspective about her culture. She brings such an uplifting vibe to us.

Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
The more places it's recognised, the better.

If a law, declaration, policy, rights are going to positively impact our Indigenous population, I am adamant - it will improve the lives of every single Australian.

Yours sincerely,
(redacted)