To whom it may concern
Submission to Co-design process
Having worked in Public Health as a Registered Nurse over 43years, and completed 6 post graduate courses, I feel that I am well placed to represent a group of the general population. My contact with First Nations people over this time has representations from many social perspectives. Having lived in Melbourne and travelled in Aust and NZ extensively, the perspective of our First Nations People must be acknowledged and valued with the respect that it deserves in a formal Parliamentary Document, which is long over due.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
We need to create a constitutional body that informs the legislative process. This constitutional enshrinement is the only way to legitimise the Voice of First Nations People, protecting it through Parliament.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
This is the only form of recognition that garnered the collective endorsement ofATSI people themselves. The Government must honour its commitment to a referendum once a model for the Voice has been selected.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
ATSI community members must have the chance to be heard and have the same chance of being selected as established leadership figures. As a non-ATSI person I would like to be part of the generation that creates support to a new acceptability and respect for better lives and communities, wherever they live now.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
Previous Governments have created social disintegration, suffering and dishonouring of ATSI people as seen as an inevitable path, and acceptance this as the identity of our ATSI communities. It is time to enable and respect their leaders to start the move forward in cohesion, and determination.
I have felt shame throughout my life, from my childhood where children were adopted into nearby families, with the answer to my question to my parents, as to why they were living within other non indigenous families, there was no answer that made sense. I worked with a wonderful student nurse in the 70's who failed because her command of written language let her down. Her ATSI partner was a lawyer, he was fortunate with his education. Lack of services that are appropriate to support people through the anxiety provoking contact with our public health services. For Example meaning that forms are not completed, follow through with investigations and education, disadvantage care as health literacy is minimal. The need for close and culturally appropriate communication and access is vital.