(redacted) Darlinghurst NSW 2010
To Co-Design Body
Co-design process: Submission for Kathleen Burns
As a retired doctor who worked in inner city Sydney in an area with many low income and indigenous people I know first hand of the soul destroying lives of many indigenous families. I have also spent time in Far North Queensland so know some of the complex problems of remote communities.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
This statement gives all Australians the chance to show their support for our indigenous people, to show our respect for their right to self determination, to listen to what they have to say. Without this we are simply continuing our paternalistic 'we know what's best' approach which gave us the stolen generation and so many other tragic wrongs against a people who I was taught at school in the 1950's and 60's were a primitive race likely to die out in the next few decades. I am deliberately not going into detail about the dreadful treatment of the past as I want us all to find a way forward together.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
Yes, this is essential.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
For me as a GP the difference in life expectation between indigenous and non indigenous Australians is enough alone to tell me that the approach we have taken so far is not working. Aboriginal people have come together to create this document. It is time to stop dictating and start listening.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
The recognition and respect of a voice in Parliament would immediately give a chance, a structure, where indigenous voices could be heard where it matters: in the place where the future direction of Australia is decided.