Dear Co-Design Body
Submission to Co-design process
I’m from Mossman FNQ I spent my growing years in Mossman and went to boarding school at Slade college in Warwick. I currently live in Almaden and work in and around Mareeba
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
I’m a victim of colonisation. My mother was locked up in a dormitory and my father was made to work for the whites of colonisation. If us aboriginal people are to have a fair go in this country then we need to be heard.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
When we can make life changing decisions/laws about/ for us, on matters that impact on us then we will start heading in the right direction for equality. Until we have a say in our own future then you will see change in our community.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
For too long non-indigenous and some black elites have been introducing laws that impact on our lives and very rarely do they talk to us grassroots mob and nor are their laws and policies of any benefit to our people. Still my family live in third world conditions with over-crowding and no real jobs. Very rarely do you see black fellas on local councils. They call this the lucky country but it’s only the lucky country if you’re white.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
Enshrinement into the constitution is the only way to go. It’s their rulebook; if it says “give indigenous people a voice” then that is what the government has to do. If it was in legislation then it can be changed whenever we have a racist party elected into government or when that government does not like our viewpoint or ways of doing things. They can change the law to suit their own agenda.
I believe the starting point for the voice model has to come from the indigenous people of this country because we are the ones who have to live with the laws that are currently made to keep us below the poverty line. A proper process should be run like the way they ran for the Referendum Council with the grassroots dialogues, where mob were not just ‘tick a box’ consulted by a hand picked group who do not represent us and who only want to show that they consulted mob numerically not take into account what they said.
This process needs to happen after a referendum and can inform the legislation. It is time to have a referendum on a voice now not a legislated voice first.