2499

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Submission Number
2499
Participant
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
Submission date
Main Submission Automated Transcript

Submission – Uluru Statement

Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM
On behalf of Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC)
214 Nicholson Street
Footscray
VIC 3011
Co-design process: Submission on behalf of Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC)

Founded in 2001, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) is Australia’s largest independent
human rights organisation for people seeking asylum and refugees, supporting and empowering
people at the most critical junctures of their journey. Building on our close proximity to those with
lived experience, we mobilise and partner for a community of compassion, justice and opportunity.
The ASRC supports more than 7,000 people seeking asylum each year through 30+ programs and
services across food and material aid, casework, housing support, legal, advocacy, health,
empowerment, employment and education.
The ASRC is based in Footscray and Dandenong, in Melbourne on the traditional lands of the
Wurundjeri, Woi Wurrung and the Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation. We also have smaller
operations in Sydney on the land of the Gadigal people of the Euroa Nation and in Brisbane on the
Meeanjin land of the Turrbul and Jagera nations.
The ASRC is supportive of the Uluru Statement.
The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) was established to champion the rights of people
seeking asylum and mobilise a community of compassion to create lasting social and policy
change.
We acknowledge that we cannot do this without also recognising and championing the rights of
Australia’s First Nations People, including in Parliament. We stand with First Nations People in
welcoming those who come to Australia seeking safety and to live in peace in our community.
We want an Australian society that values and recognises the heritage and culture of First Nations
People and the heritage and culture of the people who make Australia their home, as a proud part
of our shared identity as a nation. For us, reconciliation is the acknowledgement of First Nations
People’s unceded sovereignty and a recognition and celebration of their continuing connections to
land, waters, community, culture and customs.
As the ASRC is a home of hope for people seeking asylum and an unrelenting champion of human
rights, we wish to support and empower First Nations People in the vision of building a society of
compassion, equity, justice and opportunity in Australia. The Uluru Statement and enshrining a
voice in Australia’s Constitution is an important part of this.
Our vision is that all Australians, First Nations and people who have come here seeking asylum,
can live safely, sustainably, independently and equally in our communities. If we start with a Voice
to Parliament for First Nations people, then hopefully this will create space and place for other
marginalised groups, such as people seeking asylum and refugees, to be represented too. asrc.org.au | jana.f@asrc.org.au | April 2021 Page 1
Submission Uluru Statement

We are strong believers in self-determination - people must be empowered to have a say in
matters that affect them. The Uluru Statement provides one important avenue for Indigenous
people to have agency, influence and a voice.
Over the years we have seen asylum and refugee legislation change with catastrophic impact on
the lives of those seeking safety in Australia. Legislation can be changed as governments change.
A Voice to Parliament needs to be permanent, therefore should be enshrined in the Constitution
rather than in reversible statute at the whim of political processes and alliances.
We stand in solidarity with First Nations people and believe First Nations people should have a
voice enshrined in the Constitution.
Yours faithfully
Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM
On behalf of Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) asrc.org.au | jana.f@asrc.org.au | April 2021 Page 2