2507

Submissions: Your Feedback

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Submission Number
2507
Participant
Jessie Grace Stephenson
Submission date

Jessie Grace Stephenson
(redacted)

To Co-Design Body

Submission for Co-design process

I am a competition and regulatory lawyer with Gilbert + Tobin, currently living and working on Cammeraygal land with my family.

Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a critical and moving statement of the way in which we can support Indigenous people and enrich the lives of all Australians. It shines a light on the deep pain and injustice which continues and evidences the strength and poise of our First Nations people. This is a statement that we can all support, and that provides a practical and robust way forward to a better future for Australia.

Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
For too long we have seen the results of dispossession and disempowerment, including prevention of voices being heard, even though sovereignty has never been ceded. Indigenous people having a say in matters that affect them is fundamental to good decision-making, preventing further injustices and moving towards a more positive future of empowerment.

How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
A Voice to Parliament could improve the lives of my community through being able to move forward through truth-telling, learn about local culture and language, including the significance of our land and share this with the next generation.

Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
The Voice to Parliament is a fundamental aspect of self-determination and critically important to our nation. To acknowledge its importance, it must be included in our Constitution and be voted on directly by the people in a Referendum. The Voice is not something that can or should be able to be legislated, amended or tweaked by Parliament, and should be protected in the same way as other Constitutional provisions.

We face a critical moment affecting all Australians, where we can choose to move forward, truth-tell and seek a better future, or where we can give in to fear-mongers, apathy or vested interests that are afraid of any perceived challenge to their power. We are better than that and we owe more to our First Nations people than that. The Uluru Statement from the Heart is here, it's time and I support it strongly, joining this movement of the Australian people for a better future.

Yours sincerely,
Jessie Grace Stephenson