2433

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Submission Number
2433
Participant
James Ross
Submission date
Main Submission File
Main Submission Automated Transcript

Thank you for the opportunity to have a say about the future of Australia.

I’m a concerned parent, who is wondering what the future holds for my
children.

In such a short space of time, humans have managed to change the
landscape of the world, to actually shift the forces of nature.

When you look at the mega data the future seems bleak and opportunities to
make a significant global change seem overwhelming impossible, it feels like
we have left it too late.

To generalise, it feels like a dominant western white culture that seeks to
utilise nature for individual benefit, outweighs indigenous cultures that seek to
work with nature for collective benefit. There seems a gap in mindset
between survival meaning accumulating personal wealth and survival
meaning community continuation.

From my understanding we have all the global wealth we need, yet we are
getting close to the tipping point of global community continuation. I feel if we
don’t take steps to change our collective community mindset in Australia, we
are risk of placing ourselves on a path of extinction.

I’m not sure where I got it from, yet I’ve always had a strong connection to
caring for nature and empathy for people. I’m a bit on an anomaly in my
family and in the community I grew up in, a blue belt of middle class Sydney.
Most people in my social and work circles do not care about the environment
or racial or class issues. As long as it does not impact their comfortable
lifestyle they don’t see the point in expending energy on it, not when there is a
Netflix series to binge on or a holiday to be had!

It was not until my early 20’s that I met an Aboriginal person. I certainly did
not learn much about our Indigenous cultures at school, it was not until
University I started to become curious.

Over the years, the little bits I learnt of Indigenous culture it just seemed to
make sense and I wondered why that mindset was not part of our common
thinking.

Over the years and the more I travelled, I also started to see how big the
divide in society was. If you lived in the city and worked in big corporate, like I
did to start, you could easily go through life without needing to have a care
about Indigenous people besides ticking the token RAP activities off.

In moving to WA, where I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside, have
friends and be a lot closer to Indigenous people my eyes have been opened
further.

As I have continued to learn more about the human impact on nature and the
human division through economic models, I wonder what the solutions for the
future are. I don’t just learn through research, I learn from daily life
experiences. It just seems we can’t solve the problems with the same
thinking that caused them.

In recent years I have formed the belief that many of our current social and
economic problems were solved a long time ago.

I believe we have an amazing opportunity in Australia. We have the longest
continuous culture in the world, right here! One of the most sophisticated
social structures of humankind, purposed designed for survival within our
shores. I can’t help but think how different our history might have been, if first
settlers just asked how to live here and adapted rather than imposed.

I also can’t understand why I didn’t learn so much more about the cultures of
my own country before others at school.

To me, for our survival, it seems now is the time to rectify the situation by
asking the questions of First Nation people. How can we live here
sustainably? What does a collaborative culture look like? What social changes
do we need to make? How can we work with the land and live from native
produce? Many of the answers to these questions were solved a long time
ago, out of the same necessity. The solutions are there, they just need to be
re-discovered and tweaked for the current times.

To me, it is essential for First Nation people to have a voice to Parliament. A
formal place where that knowledge and wisdom can be shared so we can
start to learn, change and grow. Let’s hope it happens in time for us to make
the changes we need.

I also feel that for the majority of the population to take notice and for these
matters to somehow become infused in their day-to-day, constitutional
recognition of First Nation people needs to occur. People won’t listen unless
they respect. Sometimes that respect is gained through formal recognition, it
creates importance. Without out that formal recognition, there is no power.
No reason for people without empathy to take notice.

Some people close to me say, “you’ll just have to wait till I die” when I try to
discuss issues with the environment or racism. Let’s hope our kids grown up
in a society where that formal recognition and respect is enshrined in the
constitution; it is just the way things are. Then we have a chance of hope.

So please, for the sake out all our collective future, let’s do the 5 key things
we can to start changing the course of the future and rectify the mistakes of
the past:

1. Have a referendum on the National Voice.
2. Enable the legislation for the voice in the following term of Parliament.
3. Ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the chance to
influence the membership model for the National Voice.
4. Allocate Federal and State funding for ongoing research,
documentation and education on our Indigenous archaeology. Much
has already been lost. When the truth is compiled then the facts can
help people learn, shift and change.
5. Build a more substantial percentage of indigenous content into the
school curriculum. Be great if books like Dark Emu were known and
understood by all Australians.

Thanks for your consideration.

Sincerely
James Ross