Dear Co-Design Body
Submission for Co-design process
I am originally from a remote mountain village in Fiji and spent my childhood there. I came to Australia when I was 16 and I have lived over 20 years in Western Sydney sporadically. In this time I have focused my whole energy on fighting for social justice and have been fortunate and grateful to the wonderful elders of the Darug nation and the aboriginal communities that I have been blessed to work with and learn from. I have studied Science (Astronomy and Astrophysics), Business Administration, Commerce-Accounting and have a masters in International Community Development. I am currently working for Greenpeace Australia Pacific and am the Volunteer and Activist Coordinator for the region ensuring people power moves the populations consciousness towards climate justice and there is no climate justice without first nation's justice!
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
Aboriginal people and communities have been on this continent for over 60000 years. 60000 years of simplicity, of beautiful cultural stories, of beautiful art, music, ways of living, of acceptance, of resilience, of pain and suffering the communities have had to endure. They are the custodians of every thing we have the privilege to experience in Australia. Their history, their knowledge, skills and dialogue needs to be acknowledged, heard and shared. Their voices need to be amplified.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
Governments have added to the oppression, to the marginalisation of Aboriginal communities and at several instances perpetuating further trauma and trauma. Having this as part of the Constitution removes the governmental powers. It is about people's rights.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
Aboriginals are the most incarcerated, have the lowest standard of living and socio economic status which has impacted health, education and various aspects of community. They know best in decisions regarding their future so amplifying those voices are paramount in ensuring the decades of trauma, torture and cycle of oppression is removed and growth is achieved.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
60000 years they have survived the journey of humankind bringing with them a vast beauty of culture, ways of living, stories, resilience and sense of community. They have used traditional methods of health, of education, of care, of love and for that to be realised in all it's beauty, they need to be the one's making decisions about them.