To whom it may concern
Submission for Co-design process
I was born to white parents in Australia and can trace my ancestry through many generations back to Europe. I grew up in Brisbane on Yuggera land and now reside in Newcastle on Awabakal land. I have been working in the not-for-profit sector for over 15 years and currently work as the Services Director for Christians Against Poverty, a national debt help charity. I love this country and all the people that reside here and all the histories they come from and I choose to live this out in my vocation.
It is so important that the history and culture from the foundations of this great south land are not lost. The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an earnest yearning for a fair and truthful relationship for all people of Australia and a better future for this beautiful country. It is a yearning born out of our nation's mistreatment, neglect and disregard that desperately needs to be rectified or we will lose forever the beautiful gift we have in this country of First Nations people.
Establishing a Voice to Parliament for First Nations people directly impacts our local communities. At the core of establishing a Voice to Parliament is defining what Australia means. The values we all desire such as respect and honour of one another, care for the environment, freedom to be our true selves. When we do this it will bring a brighter future for all. This definition of who we are then flows into the systems we operate by and build. Education, social structures, decision making processes, justice and security, etc. currently leave people behind, sometimes deliberately.
Indigenous people must have a say in all matters of this country and that starts with the matters that directly affect them. When they have power and freedom over their destiny they will flourish. As Indigenous people flourish then we as a country will all benefit. Though I must say that even if my life was not impacted at all by the flourishing of Indigenous people it would still be worth doing.
The Voice to Parliament absolutely must be enshrined in the Constitution it cannot be considered in half-measures. If we can only go so far as including it in legislation we will have achieved nothing because underlying all our efforts will still be a lack of truth-telling about our history.
A First Nations Voice to Parliament has been overdue since the first Australian Parliament of 1901. Let's not continue this neglect of a beautiful history and culture that is key to our future.