Co-design process: Submission for Kari .
To whom it may concern,
My name is Kari, born in Victoria, on Wurundjeri land. Now living in Queensland on Gubbi Gubbi lands. Holding a BA from Melbourne University in multicultural studies, I now work with community and individuals, families and couples on life ceremonies, rituals, weddings, funerals. But much of my work is about listening. Listening is a powerful tool, an empowering process, and one of the most effective communication endeavours.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an extremely important document. It actually informs all Australians who live, work, breathe and find sustenance on this land. The Uluru statement like no other multinational document brings together informed voices from all over our continent. The First Nations voice wisely guides all Australians on matters which affect anyone who walks on Australian soil, especially First Nations peoples.
It's about giving all perspectives a voice at the table, not just the wealthy, not just the educated, not just those who came here in the last 200 years... but all voices, especially voices with a link to the land dating back thousands and thousands of years.
First Nations people have a historical voice resonating from country, from place, from distant past, that contributes indescribable value to the whole of society. Addressing the Uluru Statement and it's objectives would address societal imbalances forced upon First Nations peoples, by decades of exclusion, compulsion and coercion .
I support constitutional reforms to empower First Nations people to take a rightful place in their own country. When they have power over their destiny their children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.
Legislation can be changed by fickle moves on the part of a sitting government. The Constitution recognises rights existing beyond a political party's own objectives. The constitution enshrines fundamentals.... like the fundamental of a first peoples, indigenous voice.
Everyone deserves a voice. And when voices have so long been silenced or controlled it is even more important to listen to the indigenous voices. They know what we don't. They feel what we can't. They need their own voice to be heard. Indigenous Australians have a long and continuing connection to the lands and waters of Australia. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are rich in knowledge, passing stories from generation to generation, and hold a unique and enduring place in our nation’s story.
The next step in this story is to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have more of a say on the laws, policies and services that impact them, their communities and their lives. There has been a lot of work already undertaken to think about the best model for our nation. The following must be followed through:
1. The Government must honour its election commitment to a referendum once a model for the Voice has been settled to ensure that a First Nations Voice to Parliament is protected by the Constitution;
2. Enabling legislation for the Voice must be passed after a referendum has been held in the next term of Parliament; and
3. The membership model for the National Voice must ensure previously unheard Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the same chance of being selected as established leadership figures.
It is the right thing to do... now.