To Co-Design Body
Submission for Co-design process
I am a 64-year-old white woman with Scottish and English ancestry. My English ancestors came to Australia in the 1880s. I was born in Australia, I grew up in Sydney and now live in Melbourne. I am tertiary educated. I work part-time doing mediation for government agencies. I have children and grandchildren. I believe in our beautiful country and I want to create a better place for future generations.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
I think the Uluru Statement is important because it seems to have been the first opportunity since colonisation for Indigenous people to come together to discuss and articulate what has happened to them, what matters to them and how they want to work with their fellow Australians. People spent time and energy talking and writing the Statement and the Australian government should give it the respect it deserves by implementing the Voice to Parliament.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
It should be protected from political ups and downs. Enshrining it in the Constitution gives it stability and continuity, but more importantly it gives it a profound legitimacy, which it needs and deserves.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
It's important for all people to have a say in the matters that affect them. Indigenous people have been denied this right. Their country was invaded and land taken. They are our brothers and sisters, and we should accord them the same rights as everyone else, but more than that, given the extreme destruction of community and loss of life that has happened to them, it is especially important now that Indigenous people should have a say in matters that affect them. It's a crucial part of any healing and reconciliation.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
It would be a clear recognition of the place of Indigenous people as the First Nations people and an acknowledgement of their crucial and significant role in the decision-making processes of our country. It's time we faced up to the brutal, unfair and discriminatory way in which Indigenous people have often been treated. It's time to make a change.
I am profoundly disappointed in our government that they have disregarded this crucial document. The Uluru Statement from the Heart was made in May 2017, nearly four years ago. It is disrespectful to have taken so long to act on its recommendations. We need an Indigenous Voice to Parliament enshrined in our Constitution and I believe the majority of Australians would be in favour of this and understand why it's needed.