To Co-Design Body
Submission to Co-design process
I am first-generation Australian, born in Sydney to a Chinese immigrant and Hungarian refugee parents, and am now parent to two school-aged children. I have a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Teaching both from Sydney University, and currently work as a music educator of all ages (from newborns to adults) in Sydney while living in the Blue Mountains.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
When considering the rich and varied cultural background and upbringing of my children, I realised that first and foremost, the most important culture for them to be aware of is the culture of the land they actually live one, this land of Australia, and that means honouring and respecting the culture and practices of the indigenous people that have lived here for so long. We all live on this land, and as such we owe it to the land and first nations peoples to have them recognised in our constitution.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
A Voice to Parliament would make respect and honouring of aboriginal culture an intrinsic everyday part of Australian life. This inclusion would enrich the lives of everyone in my community. Be it fostering a deeper understanding about the flora and fauna of our environment, or traditional cultural practices of the country we live and work on, or learning more about the history of our communities, this honouring will weave important threads of connection between those living today, those who have come before, and the land itself, helping us to care more for it and each other.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
Indigenous people have been discounted, ignored, abused, murdered, violated and misunderstood for too long. Non-indigenous Australians have proven themselves to be devastatingly incompetent in being able to understand, represent and care for indigenous interests, be they health, relationships, financial, or cultural. We need to end this cycle of paternalism and neglect and start to listen and respect the wishes and wisdom of indigenous individuals and communities in the most basic way.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
We can't live on this land and ignore the people who have spent millennia caring, understanding and connecting with it in our primary legal document. Legislation is vital to support indigenous interests in other ways, but it alone is simply too shallow a tool to recognise the fundamental importance of the presence of our first nations people.