2565

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Submission Number
2565
Participant
Anonymous
Submission date

(redacted)

Dear Co-Design Body
Submission to Co-design process
I am a resident of Newcastle, NSW with a strong interest in social justice and a deep concern for the rising inequality that is a feature of our cities and society. I stand alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait people in their request for a Voice to Parliament and I strongly support the proposal for a First Nations Voice to be enshrined in the Australian Constitution.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is important because we can't thrive and grow as a nation until we address the structural inequalities that are reflected in negative health, education, employment, and economic outcomes for Aboriginal people. This is black Australia reaching out to white Australia and we cannot turn our back. It is well past time for us to acknowledge our history and move forward together in a genuine process of reconciliation.
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 should be enshrined in the Constitution because this will provide a strong basis for the Voice that can be adapted to future circumstances through the development of legislation. This will give the Voice power and legitimacy. If the Voice is not enshrined in the Constitution – and is established through legislation only – then there is a real risk that the Voice could be ignored or abolished by parliament in the future.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
Genuine conversation acknowledges multiple voices. All Indigenous people should have a say in the matters that affect them, which means we must address inequality within and between communities. A Voice to the Parliament will give Indigenous people access to the institutions and processes that shape society and give us a much stronger basis for addressing historical and current failures.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
This process will give communities a Voice at the national level. It will bring recognition and a level of respect for the diversity of voices. This is hugely important for the communities at local and regional levels who have been excluded from significant decisions that impact their lives.
The Government must honour its election to a referendum and ensure that an agreed model for the Voice is protected by the Constitution. It must then pass enabling legislation in the next term of parliament. And importantly, the membership model for the National Voice must ensure that previously unheard Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the same chance of being selected as established leadership figures.

Voice, Treaty, and Truth will improve the lives of all Australians.

Thank you,
(redacted)