2723

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Submission Number
2723
Participant
Wilbert Mapombere
Submission date

Wilbert Mapombere
Vic 3373

Dear Co-Design Body

Submission for Co-design process

I am originally from Zimbabwe, came to Australia as an asylum seeker in 2003 been a citizen since July 2006. I teach Law, Politics, and Public Policy at the National Indigenous Knowledges, Education and Research and Innovation Institute (NIKERII) at Deakin University. Every working day, I interact with Indigenous students, Indigenous Academics and Indigenous professional staff in addition to playing a part, small though it may be, in working towards recognition of and equality between Indigenous people and the wider community in my Shire. My interests and passion are in human rights, rule of law, fairness and justice.

Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
The fact that such leadership had a meeting of minds and set directions as to the best way to treat the Indigenous people as the owners and custodians of the land that make up Australia, and therefore are an essential part of Australia, with a history and culture that all Australia should be proud of. The Uluru statement is a feat of achievement without precedent in Australia, it is a watershed of the fight the human rights that the Indigenous people deserve if Australia is to be a full practical democracy based on human decency. It is a rallying point for those who are resisting the unfair laws and practices that marginalise the Indigenous People

Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
That Voice is the very soul and essence of a democracy, relegating a significant polity of the population from being heard, listened to and respected is a denial of democratic rights that others take for granted. The Indigenous people are best people in determining what is important to them in terms of aspirations, hopes, methods and culture. They are not wards of anyone. If anyone does this for them, it amounts to disrespect, paternalism, and imposition (Dictatorship), a perpetuation of the colonial system since 1788. It purges the country of patent racism, discrimination and other social and political ills being suffered by the Indigenous people.

Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
Enshrining the Voice in the Constitution is a means that demonstrates that the change is beyond being symbolic but both practical and tangible. The Constitution is more difficult to amend than change brought about by ordinary legislation that is vulnerable to easy change by the political party in power. Enshrining the Voice therefore means that Parliament alone or the party in government cannot on its own without consulting the people change the Voice once it is in the Constitution. The enshrining gives the opportunity for trust between the Indigenous people and the rest of Australia to return. Any other comments to submit Just some observations: that every Indigenous community be involved in the conversations leading to the realization of the Voice in Parliament i.e all-inclusive and effective consultations, Choosing/electing members to be part of the Voice who are able to represent the people, upright and beyond corrupt behaviour, elected by the people to Parliament where they will represent the aspirations of the people, not their personal interests. From parliament the representatives to come back to brief the people and to get more instructions to take to Parliament. This is the People's Voice.

How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
There will be more focus on the needs of the Indigenous people. It will be very close to recognition of the people and communities. It will bring and ingrain the spirit of belonging and identity i. e. pride It brings focus on the unique needs of the people and solutions regarding education, health, opportunities etc. The Voice will be the glue that continues to bring together the Indigenous Community per se and also the glue between them and the rest of Australia.

No

Yours sincerely,
Wilbert Mapombere