2808

Submissions: Your Feedback

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

The views expressed in these submissions belong to their authors. The National Indigenous Australians Agency reserved the right not to publish submissions, or parts of submissions, that include, for example, material that is offensive, racist, potentially defamatory, personal information, is a copy of previously provided materials, or does not relate to the consultation process.

An auto-generated transcript of submissions provided as attachments has been made available to assist with accessibility. These transcripts may contain transcription errors. Please refer to the source file for the original content.

Please note not all submissions are provided in an attachment. For submissions without an attachment, click on the name of the person or organisation to view the text.

Site functionality has recently been improved. You can now search by participant name and submission number. You can also click on the number, date and participant column headings to sort the order of submissions.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that submissions may contain images or names of deceased people.

If you require any further assistance please contact Co-designVoice@niaa.gov.au.

 

Submission Number
2808
Participant
Brooke Massender
Submission date

Whilst I have had the great fortune to work alongside a broad range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients, colleagues and friends over the past 20 years in my professional life as a lawyer, I make this submission in a personal capacity.

As an Australian of British ancestry I have wrestled with the question of whether or not there is any legitimacy to expressing an opinion on matters regarding the co-design of an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. Intuitively this would seem to be the exclusive domain and prerogative of First Nations peoples.

That said, on balance I feel compelled to make a submission. I make this submission in support of the various First Nations clients, colleagues and friends who have expressed concerns to me regarding the current process. As an Australian citizen I too am a stakeholder in the future of our national identity.

The key point I wish to express is that the very concept of a Voice to Parliament originated at the centre of our nation in 2017 in the form the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The statement called unequivocally for a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament. My concern is that in conceiving a co-design consultation process that is dislocated from any consideration of constitutional enshrinement, we run the risk of disengaging the very voices, hearts and minds that met at the constitutional convention in Uluru in 2017. It strikes me that these would be critical stakeholders in the co-design process who may not have felt able to fully engage in this important work in the absence of a concomitant dialogue around constitutional enshrinement. Only by bringing together the concept of co-design with the guarantee of a referendum will we as a nation bring out the greatest number and greatest energy for the important work of designing a workable and sustainable voice to Parliament.
Finally, the Uluru Statement from the Heart represents an historic invitation to Australia people and opportunity for a more complete expression of national identity. On behalf of my family, including my nine-year-old son, I gratefully accept the generous invitation to walk with first Nations peoples in a movement of all Australian people for a better future. As a family, we recognise the Uluru Statement from the heart as a critical opportunity to create a fuller expression of Australia's nationhood.
Accordingly, I hear and support the call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution and for a referendum as a national priority.