Dear Co-Design Body
Co-design process: Submission
I was born in this land. I grew up in Ipswich Queensland and moved to Melbourne, Victoria, where I currently live. I come from family that arrived in Australia on boats from England and Ireland. I love this land, its colours, scents and endless horizons. I acknowledge that this land has a black history. We have an opportunity to acknowledge this truth and embrace a better future.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation for all Australians to head towards a better future. It is an opportunity to achieve constitutional recognition of our First Nations. It is an opportunity as a nation to commit to developing a sustaining and respectful relationship with First Nations peoples, for the very first time in our nation's history. It is the first step to achieving these goals. It is an invitation for our nation to do better and be better.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
It is vital that the Voice to Parliament is enshrined in the Constitution. It must have constitutional protection. Without constitution protection, it can be eroded by a Parliament at any time. A Voice must have continuity that only constitutional protection can give it. It is the only way that governments and Parliament will take its advice with the seriousness it deserves.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
A Voice to Parliament will improve the lives of all Australians. It will be the first step in acknowledging our black history. Our country has a history spanning over 60,000 years, filled with over 500 nations and 800 dialects. It is a rich history. It is a history to be celebrated and held proud by all. A Voice to Parliament will start to pave the path to improved outcomes for First Nations people, where they can play a genuine part in decisions that affect their future for the first time since european settlement. A Voice to Parliament will take us to that first step - to a fairer and better future for everyone.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
As Parliamentarians, you are privileged to have a say in matter that affect you every day. You understand why that is important to protect and promote the matters that affect you. I am sure that you also understand that a person who holds different views or values different things than you, would not be able to reflect on what matters to you, why it matters and how it impacts you. This is how First Nations people live in this country, with a Parliament that does not, and by its current design, cannot reflects its values or represent its needs. Since Federation our Parliament have failed the First Nations people. Our current Parliament continues to fail them. A 30-year old royal commission recommendations are still being debated while people continue to die avoidable deaths. Past and current government policies continue to fail our First Nations people. This is because First Nations people do not have a Voice. A Voice to Parliament is a first step.