Reply Paid 83380
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Via email: Co-designVoice@niaa.gov.au
Thank you for the opportunity to inform final recommendations to the Australian Government
on an Indigenous Voice. I am writing to add my voice to countless others to call for the
establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.
I acknowledge the immense work to date in developing the proposals for a National Voice
and a Local and Regional Voice as outlined in the Interim Report. As a non-Indigenous
person, I feel I am unable to comment on the suitability of the proposals to realise the Uluru
Statement from the Heart’s call for a First Nations Voice. However, it is my firm belief that
regardless of its form, this Voice must be enshrined in the Constitution. This would guard
against it being abolished by future governments, as we have seen in the past with previous
First Nations’ representative bodies. I call on the government to honour its election
commitment to a referendum once a model for the Voice has been settled.
I am hopeful that my fellow Australians will overwhelmingly choose to support a change to
the Constitution as we saw in 1967, if the wording is clear and unambiguous. I recognise
that supporting legislative will then need to be passed before the Voice can be established.
I urge the government not to delay in introducing enabling legislation for the Voice in
the next term of Parliament, after a referendum has been held.
I recognise that, as in any community or group of people, First Nations peoples hold differing
opinions and values on a range of issues. Any model of the Voice must reflect the richness of
this diversity and the range of experiences that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
from urban, regional and rural areas bring. The Voice must truly give us as a nation the
opportunity to hear voices that would otherwise have been silent. The membership model for
the National Voice must therefore ensure previously unheard Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander people have the same chance of being selected as established
Finally, I acknowledge the strength and resilience of First Nations peoples throughout
Australia, and in particular, the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples who are the traditional
owners of the lands and waters where I live and work. I pay my respects to Elders past and
present and am honoured to lend my voice to theirs on this very important matter. I am
hopeful that I will be able to tell my children and grandchildren that I voted in the referendum
that ensured that an Indigenous Voice was enshrined in the Australian Constitution.
29 April 2021