Submissions: Your Feedback

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Submission Number
Shoalhaven City Council
Submission date
Main Submission Automated Transcript

Council Reference: 1209E (D21/164816)
Your Reference:


By email only: Co-designVoice@niaa.gov.au

Dear Voice Secretariat,

Shoalhaven City Council – Submission to Indigenous Voice Co-design Interim

At its meeting of 23 June 2020, Shoalhaven City Council resolved to adopt the Local
Government NSW Albury 2018 Conference policy on the Uluru Statement From The
Heart. Council recognises that the Uluru Statement is a clear expression of Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Peoples vision towards Makarrata and reconciliation.

In its meeting, Council acknowledged the challenges in the Uluru Statement and resolved
to call upon the National Parliament to rise to these challenges and to establish a First
Nations voice to Parliament.

Council also notes that the ‘Uluru Statement from the Heart’ was developed through wide
consultation with First Nations peoples across Australia. The Statement not only outlines
the history and pain of dispossession but also outlines the desired outcomes for the future
– ‘a future for our children based on justice and self-determination’. Our non-indigenous
community have now had extensive education and discussion on Constitutional Reform
and have given every indication that it is time to formalise what Council considers to be the
feeling of the wider community. It is time for Non-Indigenous Australians to take
responsibility for the challenges that our First Nations People.

Shoalhaven City Council supports an Indigenous Voice to Parliament to be enshrined in
the Constitution. Council asks that the Government honour its election commitment to a
referendum once a model of the Voice has been settled.

Council supports a diverse representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
on the National Voice and the Interim Report’s principle that “members of the National
Voice be chosen by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, rather than being solely
appointed by the Australian Government, and that the National Voice be linked with Local
and Regional Voices” is supported.

The Interim Report also outlines important features of the National Voice proposal, such
that the National Voice could:

• consist of up to 20 members, with guaranteed gender balance of members.
• include Youth and Disability Advisory Groups to ensure the voices of these groups are
• connect with Local and Regional Voices to provide views from local communities.
• work with existing bodies, structures and organisations.
• advise on national matters that are critically important to the social, spiritual and
economic wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Shoalhaven City Council considers that the National Voice must include voices of Youth
and Disability groups; it must connect with local and regional voices to provide views from
the local communities; it must work with existing bodies, structures and organisations and
it must advise on national matters that are critically important to the social, spiritual, and
economic wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The National Voice
must also ensure a gender balance of members.

Shoalhaven City Council appreciates the opportunity to respond to the Interim Report on
the Indigenous Voices co-design process and supports the initiative. Council supports the
constitutional recognition of the National Voice and believes that the Australian People
would also support a referendum.

If you need further information about this matter, please contact Michael Paine, City
Lifestyles on (02) 4429 3683. Please quote Council’s reference 1209E (D21/164816).

Yours faithfully

Stephen Dunshea
Chief Executive Officer