2728

Submissions: Your Feedback

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Submission Number
2728
Participant
Anonymous
Submission date

To Co-Design Body

Submission for Co-design process

I'm a non-Indigenous Australian who grew up on and continues to live on Wangal and Bediagal land. I studied history and politics at university, with a focus on Australian history including some studies of Indigenous culture and the history of contact and violence between Aboriginal people and the white invaders. I have worked for the NSW government for many years, primarily on social housing and homelessness policy, including some time working with Indigenous colleagues on Aboriginal housing outcomes.

Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
Through a long, thorough and deeply considered process of consultation and collaboration, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people have provided our country with a roadmap to recognition, reconciliation and healing, in the form of the Uluru Statement. All Australians should be grateful to have this opportunity to have such clear guidance as to how best to address the injustices of the past and achieve true reconciliation and healing in the future.

Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
The existence of the Voice should not be subject to the whims of any particular political party or cultural moment. It should be an inherent feature of the Australian political system to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are able to shape the way they access and engage with government policies and services. It is imperative that the Australian Constitution recognises the unique position of the First Nations peoples in our country, and gives them an inherent position of power and influence to shape the policies and services that effect their lives at a national, regional and local level. Also, it is what is asked of us in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and as a nation we must answer the call if we want to begin to address and heal from the injuries and mistakes of the past.

How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
A Voice to Parliament would ensure Australia is governed in an inclusive and respective manner, which will benefit all Australians. Enshrining the Voice into the Constitution is a key step to following the path to reconciliation and healing that was set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. This healing is just as important for non-Indigenous Australians as it is for Indigenous people.

Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
For decades Australian governments of all level have spent countless amount of time and money attempting to redress the inequities faced by Indigenous people and communities, and yet the intergenerational inequalities remain. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders must be involved in every step of the design and implementation of the laws, policies and services that effect them to ensure that they are fair, equitable and effective at Closing the Gap of outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

I have three young children, and am doing my best to raise them to know the true history of the land they are so fortunate to grow up on. I am trying to teach them about fairness and justice. I want to be able to tell them that after so many decades and centuries of our nation treating the traditional custodians of this land with violence, dispossession, cruelty and injustice, we are finally listening to what they are telling us they need to begin to heal and move forward together. I want to be able to explain to my kids that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a means to directly create and shape the way that they deal with the very institutions that for so long have done wrong by them. I want to live in a country where the very foundation of our democracy, our constitution, reflects the true position of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people as the traditional custodians of this land. We all have so much to gain if we can truly listen, acknowledge and heal.

Kind regards