2545

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Submission Number
2545
Participant
Susan Clarke
Submission date

I wish to urge the Australian Government to honour and respect the commitment made to Aboriginal Australians by upholding the Statement From the Heart. It is so long over due for Australia give Aboriginal people a voice in the constitution. It is the way forward and the years of work and the depth of consultation that went in to the Statement From the Heart should be recognised and acted on. As a non-aborignal Australian, I feel ashamed, frustrated and angry that there hasn't been the political will or courage by government to lead this country to a place of truth telling of our real history and an effort to redress the injustice hat has been done to Aboriginal people. This lack of action keeps all of Australia stuck in a horrible cycle, with aboriginal people paying the highest price (deaths in custody, incarceration, poor health outcomes, lack of employment). We are so tired of waiting for real change ... the Statement of the Heart is a generous, thoughtful and true way we can start the real process of healing and create an Australia for everyone. One that we can be proud to be a part of, instead of wearing the shame of so much injustice - past and present. You've been asked to make a real difference ... so please just get on with it and put the changes asked for into action .

The Proposal
A national body made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that:
- could provide advice to the Australian Parliament and Government on relevant laws, policies and programs
could engage early on with the Australian Parliament and Government in the development of relevant policies and laws.
Membership could be drawn in two different ways:
- ‘Structurally linked’: Members selected from Local and Regional Voices.
- ‘Directly elected’: Elections held for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to select members.
- Either membership option will have a two-way advice link to Local and Regional Voices.
Members would represent their state or territory as well as the Torres Strait Islands.
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 heard
- 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.