Dear Co-Design Body
Co-design process: Submission for
I am a caucasian psychotherapist. Underlying my therapeutic practice is Bowen Family
Systems theory. This theory emphasises the reciprocity that must always exist within an
emotional system. In other words, the emotional state of one is always a part of the emotional
state of a close other, and vice versa, and is built up over time, over generations. We are not
separate. We each have the power to change the dynamics of a relationship by becoming
aware of, accepting and changing our own part in the patterns that have developed between
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
It is from this perspective that I view the relationship between non Indigenous and Indigenous
Australians. I see myself as representing a history and a culture that has robbed Indigenous
Australians of land, story, birthright, equality, spiritual value, family structures, purpose.
voice. Though the enlightened among us have sort in many ways to ameliorate these past
wounds, their efforts have been made outside the profoundly separatist document that is the
Australian Constitution. That is, without the deep structural change needed to express our
remorse for past evils, our desire to render equality, our recognition that Indigenous culture
offers depth, richness and practical wisdom to all Australians, if only it could be expressed
and we hear.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
Without a voice, any people is left an unwilling victim of powerlessness and patronising, no
matter how genuine are the efforts made on their behalf. Without a voice, "us and them" is
perpetuated. Without their voice we cannot reciprocate in a digified and receptive manner: we
will always suffer from a debiliating (for both) superiority.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution,
rather than include it only in legislation?
The constitution is the book of the nation. Sadly, in its present form, not of the the whole
nation. The first peoples, the oldest civilization on earth, are not recognised within it. I want
my children to know that they are.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
A voice to Parliament for Indigenous peoples is fundamental to the improvement of any
community, that of my affluent white suburb included. Managing difference is the least
known and most essential of all human skills. For indigenous communities, amongst whom
there is so much unheard wisdom and knowhow, outcomes can only be improved by a Voice