Glebe NSW 2037
To whom it may concern
Submission for Co-design process
My name is Ruth and I am a long term visitor to Australia - this is the place I make my home. I am from New Zealand where we have a Treaty as part of our constitutional documents that enshrine indigenous rights and enmire Tangata Whenua as first nations - this has led to a much better understanding throughout Aotearoa of Maori rights and has helped address many of the problems of colonisation as well as ensuring Te Reo stays alive. I have been saddened in Australia to see that the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander people are not recognised and this is reflected in the experience of many including racism/bias and marginalisation. I work for an International Humanitarian org and my own family kaupapa is about justice and equity for all.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
The Uluru Statement from the heart is important as it seeks to have the very basic necessity of a healthy country where the voices history, language and culture of the people who own this land are listened to and heard and where people have autonomy and agency to direct their own lives and outcomes in a meaningful and valued way. We need to all hear from those with lived experience - who better to know what is needed for ensuring equitable outcomes.
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 a founding document that should best reflect national identity - failure to include Indigenous peoples whose culture and experience precede any other, means that we are only grounding Australia in the experience and wisdom of a few thus devaluing the sovereignty and entitlement of Indigenous Australians. We all benefit from the inclusion of the Voice in our constitution - it will go a long way to reducing the polarity and marginalisation of Indigenous peoples and better reflect who we are and the basis of this nation on a broad and inclusive footing. Legislation fails to capture this as it is more on a micro level - if the Voice is included in the Constitution then of necessity - the legislature and the courts who interpret legislation will be minded to consider.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
It is more than important for indigenous people to have a say - and more than a say - indigenous voices, past present and future should be the primary source of consultation and weight should be given to those voices and outcomes should reflect their choices including the resourcing needed to ensure equitable implementation, ensuring preservation of languages and cultures and much better social and justice outcomes - it is heartbreaking that this is not happening. We all win if we listen to the voices of our indigenous peoples.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
A voice to Parliament would be of value to their community - the land of the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation to ensure that local and federal govts are held to account and that they ensure equity - listen again to the Redfern speech - this has all taken way to long...we need to hear from community the best ways to address the injustices of the past and allow for a more harmonious and optimistic future.
This has taken too long - we continue to fail to recognise our cultural heritage and value those who have been here before us - we continue to perpetuate the atrocities visited on Indigenous peoples - there is a better way and we are being told this by those whose lived experience validates their right to tell us - we need to listen and learn with humility..
Always was and always will be Aboriginal land