Gundaroo NSW 2620
To whom it may concern
Submission for Co-design process
I am retired now but have worked in education for almost 40 years, as a teacher, administrator and policy manager. Most recently, I managed the Red Cross in the ACT. I now live in rural NSW, in Ngunnawal country.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
The Uluru Statement is important because it is the current expression of the desires of many First Nations’ peoples. It sets out a way to reach a just settlement between First Nations peoples and all non-Indigenous people. It is practical, generous and achievable.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
A Voice to Parliament will enrich our community by helping us understand how Indigenous people see any and all matters that come through Parliament. We will better understand their perspectives and be able to listen to their ideas and wisdoms on prospective laws before Parliament. It will increase the quality of the conversations across all our communities on our law making processes.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
A simple and vital first step to achieving reconciliation in our country is to establish a clear and powerful mechanism for First Nations peoples’ to have a say on matters that affect them. Being able to consider and speak to Parliament and the public on any and all matters that Indigenous people feel affect them, is an essential part of establishing a more respectful relationship between First Nations peoples and all non-Indigenous people in Australia.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
Our history as a country is littered with failed attempts to progress the sovereign rights of Indigenous Australians; from the Barunga Statement to National Land Rights promises, to Native Title laws and at every turn, Governments have succumbed to vested interests and tawdry politics to let down First Nations peoples and underachieve at every opportunity. We must have an irrevocable mechanism to hear First Nations’ peoples’ voices on all important issues. That means it must have the authority of the Constitution behind it.
We still have a ways to go to achieve reconciliation and a just settlement. The Voice is an important first step. Truth telling and development of Treaties is vital. We can do this. It will enrich our nation and begin to heal many of the past wrongs committed in the colonisation of these lands.