Our Race Pty. Ltd.
Dear Co-Design Body
Co-design process: Submission for Our Race
My name is Doug Cronin and I have lived most of my life on Gadigal Land and have been a beneficiary of colonisation. I am currently studying a PhD at Western Sydney University and run a social enterprise, Our Race, which aims to challenge racism and other forms of oppression through ethical storytelling.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Australia to create a more equal and just society by prioritising the voices of First Nations' Peoples to speak for themselves and be at the decision-making table for policies that affect them. This is also an opportunity for some sense of healing and for our nation to recognise, reflect on and be proud of living on a land with the oldest continuing culture in the world.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
This must be enshrined in the Constitution because only then will it be including First Nations Peoples voices into the future. By only including it in legislation it can be repealed at anytime and will become an even bigger political ball game than it already is.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
This can begin to help with the healing process for both Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. This will in turn lead to better outcomes in health, education and social cohesion. It will be an opportunity to hear the truths in our schools and result in a more educated society of who we really were, are and will be.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
For far too long First Nations' Peoples have not had a say of what happens to them and as a result we have a situation where we have considerable issues which have not been adequately addressed at anytime throughout colonisation. There have been billions of dollars which has been assigned to Indigenous affairs but without the voice of First Nations Peoples. It is now well overdue for the people who are affected to lead these decisions and to speak for themselves.
This is an opportunity we cannot afford to wait any longer for and when this happens it will be a historical moment for us to all celebrate.