2721

Submissions: Your Feedback

Submissions from people and organisations who have agreed to have their feedback published are provided below.

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Submission Number
2721
Participant
Anonymous
Submission date

To whom it may concern

Co-design process: Submission

I am a non-Indigenous woman and I grew up on Awabakal country and now live on Gammaraygal country. I work in First Nations justice through UNSW, and am currently completing my Dphil in a related field. I have studied at UNSW, University of Oxford and Macquarie University. My work to date has focused on promoting First Nations self-determination, women's rights and First Nations data sovereignty.

Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a strong consensus position that reflects the knowledge and wisdom of the First Nations representatives who participated in the regional processes and who have driven this long movement for recognition. The Uluru Statement is an invitation to all Australians to participate in long overdue self-determination processes and remedy the wrongs of the past (that persist in the present). It is time for change.

How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
A Voice to Parliament will ensure that First Nations people are given the opportunity to reflect the views of community members and have a say in their lives. Constitutional enshrinement of the Voice has benefits for all Australia, and while it will not in itself comprehensively remedy the wrongs of the past and the present, it will lay the foundation for further self-determination infrastructure including treaty and truth-telling (subsequent components of the Uluru Statement from the Heart).

Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
A lot of the consultation processes I have borne witness to between non-Indigenous bureaucrats and politicians and First Nations people and communities have been 'tick a box' and do not reflect meaningful dialogue, nor yield meaningful or appropriate outcomes for First Nations people and communities. First Nations people know what their communities need and should have their voice listened to, meaningfully, in all conversations and areas that impact their lives.

Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
The Voice must be included in the Constitution if it is to be meaningful. It cannot be put into legislation as a 'trial' as has been suggested throughout the consultation processes, but must be put to a referendum urgently so that all Australians can take ownership over this permanent change to the architecture of this nation. Constitutional enshrinement of the Voice is fundamental to us abiding the Uluru Statement from the Heart and all its wisdom, and progressing forward as a nation.

I hope that the government takes heed of the submissions of First Nations and non-Indigenous Australians who have participated in this co-design process and have demonstrated strong support for constitutional enshrinement of the Voice. It will show good faith and willingness by Australia's leaders to abide by promises to hold a referendum after the model for the Voice is settled.