Dr Jenny Ng
Charles Darwin University
Darwin, Northern Territory,
Date: 30 Apr. 2021
Dear Sir/ Madam
RE: Uluru Dialogue Submission
I write this submission in support of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a Voice to Parliament.
This submission is written in my personal capacity. I think the Government’s co-design process
should take the Uluru Statement from the Heart into account when deciding on what a Voice to
Parliament should look like.
Once a model to the Voice is made, the Government should allow for a referendum. The referendum
was an election commitment that the Government has made. Hence, there is a reasonable
expectation from the people that the Government honours its election commitments. Further, to
ensure that the outcome of the referendum has legal effect, enabling legislation for the Voice must
be passed after the referendum.
Additionally, previously unheard Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people should have a chance
to be given lead roles in the membership model of the National Voice. This is imperative given that it
concerns the affairs of the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people, and they would be the
people who know best about what their needs are and what issues there are. Speaking as a minority
and a former migrant who is now Australian, I think some rules and policies are simply the wrong fit
for minorities,1 and exemplifies how laws and policies may become unfair to some when they are
made without knowing the issues and needs of certain groups of people. Rules that are ill-fitted for
the minorities show a glaring lack of consideration for certain groups of people when such rules
Democratically elected Governments make laws that are made for the people. Laws are made for
the people and by the people. The law-making process needs to be more inclusive of the needs and
issues of minorities as they are the people too. Hence, it is important for previously unheard
Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people to have a chance to be given lead roles in the
membership model of the National Voice.
Dr Jenny Ng
I have written to the Australian Law Reform Commission on this point several years ago. While I do not see
the need to reiterate it in detail here as it was in relation to migrants (and this submission uses it as an
analogy), I would be glad to furnish details upon request.