Submissions: Your Feedback

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Submission Number
Rhiannon Herne
Submission date

Rhiannon Herne

Dear Co-Deisgn Body
Submission for Co-Design Process

I am a QUT Law/Creative Industries student in my fourth year currently studying Constitutional Law. I am currently doing an intercultural creative project with some of the young Indigenous people at Hopevale Arts and Cultural centre in Far North Queensland along with the artists there.

I think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is an important document between the government and a collaborative effort between different Indigenous groups which higlghlights the important steps to reconciliation firstly involving a Voice to Parliament followed by Treaty and then Truth. This is the first important step which involves Constitutional recognition either by modification is s51 (xxvi) as outlines by the Joint Committee or in another form. Importantly this is written into the Constitution not as a preamble.

Indigenous people are a significant part of Australia. When white Australia came and wrote discriminatory laws into the Constitution about Indigenous Australians this has continued to have a flow on effect today, where indigenous people have the lowest mortality rate of any group in Australia. Indigenous people have a unique spiritual connection to the land and waters and deserve to have.a say. For far too long non-indigenous people have controlled Indigenous lives. Suggesting that anyone but an Indigenous person knows what is best for Indigenous people is paternalistic and wrong. Indigenous people should be empowered.

Enshirining the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution is important as it means it cannot be changed unless by the people through a referendum. It would ensure that discriminatory judgements and laws are not put in place that do not acknowledge the Indigenous voice.

An indigenous Voice to Parliament would improve the lives of the community as it is something that indigenous people have been fighting for since Federation. This would be the first step in reconciliation providing an invaluable perspective that would allow healing after years of injustice and silence from the law.

Thank you,

Rhiannon Herne