Submission to the Indigenous Voice proposal outlined in the Indigenous Voice Co-design Process Interim Report to the Australian Government (October w020)
I would like the following points to be considered when preparing the final recommendations to the Australian Government:
● A Voice to Parliament and Government to represent the views of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on matters directly and indirectly impacting their communities is a critical, foundational step to empowering First Nations communities and enabling participation;
●.Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples must be able to determine the means by which they are represented through the Local & Regional and National Voices; and
● Whilst I understand that constitutional enshrinement was not part of the scope of the co-design process, I believe that once this process has defined a clear model, the existence and core functions of the Voice must next be enshrined within the Constitution to ensure it is effective, independent and perceived as legitimate
I fully support the National Co-design Group’s proposals for a “National Voice to provide advice to the Parliament on national issues impacting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.“. It is, however, imperative that the National Voice be able to provide advice to the Australian Government, in the early stages of policy design.
To be truly successful, I would encourage Parliament and the Australian Government to embrace this opportunity for open dialogue with First Nations peoples in good faith, consulting early and consulting often, to ensure Statements of Consultation are given appropriate consideration in democratic processes.