I am a fifth generation Australian who has absolute respect for and pride in the unique and invaluable knowledge and cultural systems of Indigenous Australians and their 60 000 year plus history and connection to this country. Equally I believe it is an absolute disgrace that we find ourselves here in 2021 still debating whether there should be a voice of First Nations to Parliament protected in the Australian Constitution. Australia cannot move forward with any sort of pride or maturity – socially, culturally, intellectually - until it takes the right next steps. This requires making the shift from merely acknowledging sovereignty was never ceded to a constitutional recognition of the ancient sovereignty of First Nations people and an empowerment for first peoples to exercise self-determination.
A strong constitutional voice means First Nation communities are heard in terms of best practice in regard to any legislation that effects daily life and cultural practices. It is the difference between working with from the inside, rather than making assumptions from the outside. Such a voice allows a platform for the recognition of the daily affects of ancestral ties to land and country that guide certain cultural practices. Finally to have a strong constitutional voice in Parliament of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will provide a greater opportunity for knowledge sharing and cultural growth for all Australians.