Noble Park, Vic
Dear Co-Design Body
Co-design process: Submission for Alissa Ranieri
I live and have grown up in Melbourne. I am at the beginning of studying my Master of Social Work through The University of Melbourne. I have also completed a Master of Teaching and Bachelor of Arts at The University of Melbourne. I have been a primary school teacher in the Victorian Department of Education for the past decade and have worked with a broad range of children and families who have come from many different backgrounds, including First Nations people.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is important because First Nations voices from around the country came together and developed this document. It is important because we need to respect the generosity of our First Nations people in offering the Uluru Statement to Australia. We need to listen and work alongside them to give them what they are owed, need and are so clearly asking for.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
A Voice to Parliament has enormous power the improve the lives of the First Nations people in Australia. The symbolism of non-Indigenous people taking the first steps towards repairing the wrongs of colonisation and enshrining a Voice to Parliament in the constitution would improve the standing of First Nation's people in many non-Indigenous Australian's eyes. I see it reducing racism, from systemic to casual. I see it enabling better health, education, justice and life expectancy outcomes. Without this we are doomed to maintaining the same horrifying statistics that are shameful and shocking to us all.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
It is so important for First Nations People to have a say in matters that effect them because it is a basic freedom and expectation in our society that adults are free to make decisions about their own lives. This is true on the individual level and the community level. They are the experts and know the best possible ways to improve their situation, wherever they live: remote, rural or urban. This is the first step towards addressing the shocking statistics of disadvantage and violence that First Nations people live with and that we condone 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?
An enshrined, constitutional Voice to Parliament is essential as this would create much needed stability for First Nations people to continue their work. They could be assured that any policies and programs that benefit them are no longer left to the whim of the political cycle. There would be certainty that endeavors undertaken for the improvement of their lives would not be pulled from under their feet and precious time working to improve their lives would not be wasted simply finding the new and constantly moving goal posts. Legislation is subject to change as quickly as change occurs in who leads Government.