My name is Brydie Zorz, and I am a young Wiradjuri woman currently studying a Bachelor of Law/Arts at the University of New South Wales. I grew up on Wiradjuri country and have been heavily involved in learning about my culture and sharing my culture with others since birth. My Indigenous heritage and culture is something I am extremely proud of, and First Nations issues are the focus of my activism.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an immensely important statement that should be listened to and understood by all Australians. I truly believe that it is likely THE most important call for action from First Nations Peoples that my generation will see. It is also the first of its kind; a collaborative statement aiming to address the significant issues we First Nations peoples face. The sequenced reforms called for by the Uluru Statement: Voice, Treaty and Truth, are easily understood and achievable ways to allow First Nations peoples to take a rightful place in our own country based on self-determination and justice.
First Nations peoples deserve the ability to have a say in issues and matters that directly affect us, such as Indigenous deaths in custody and the cashless card. After all, we hold the cultural knowledge and understanding that allows us to engage with our issues in a more practical and effective manner. Why should non-Indigenous people make decisions on our behalf when they do not understand our culture?
The Voice reform called for by the Uluru Statement from the Heart is the most important and urgent reform and is crucial in allowing First Nations peoples to have a say. A Voice to Parliament that has the ability to represent First Nations peoples is crucial in improving the many disadvantages my people have faced since Invasion. Enshrining the Voice into the constitution is extremely important. Time and time again we have seen bodies that are supposed to represent us be abolished without a second thought. This can’t happen again. It is also important that all First Nations peoples have the ability to be represented through this Voice. All First Nations peoples should have the ability to get elected to a regional or local Voice, as this ensures our interests are truly represented.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an important call for action from First Nations peoples. Implementing the reforms called for, and constitutionally enshrining the Voice instead of merely establishing it through legislation is important to ensure First Nations peoples have a say on the issues that directly affect us. It does no good for anyone, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, to pretend there aren’t still major issues affecting First Nations peoples in this country. The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a way for everyone to move forward together and create a better future for all.