To whom it may concern
Co-design process: Submission for Imogen Rutledge
I grew up in Canberra, ACT, and have lived in Vancouver, Canada and New Zealand. I have Wiradjuri ancestry on my father's side. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws at ANU.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
I think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important as the Indigenous peoples of Australia face so many disadvantages, and the Uluru statement is a step in a better direction than the current state of social progress as it is Indigenous lead.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
It is important because it is a fundamental right of self-autonomy and expression in a democratic society. It is also important to acknowledge that when non-Indigenous people have a say in these matters, it isn't truly reflective of Indigenous opinions and voices, and are not capable of understanding the unique disadvantages faced by First Nations people.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
It would improve my community as it would hold Parliament accountable for it's privilege, whiteness and colonial attitudes.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
It is imperative to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution as it is the supreme law making entity in Australia that can only be changed through referendum. The Constitution is the highest source of law, and including the voice would protect it and allow it to perform constitutionally enshrined duties, and further legally legitimize it. It would also acknowledge the importance of Indigenous voices generally.