To Co-Design Body
Submission for Co-design process
I currently live on Wadjuk Noongar country, specifically Walyalup (Fremantle) I was born
on Dharawal land which was cared for by Gwyagal People. This beautiful area contains
what is known as the Royal National Park which is filled with Indigenous Artefacts and
Artworks (what is left of them anyway). I went to Heathcote High School and knew one
Aboriginal girl- a member of the Stolen Generation being raised in a white Christian
family. I learnt nothing at all about Indigenous Culture or History. Instead we heard of the
glory of First Settlers that arrived close by in Botany Bay. I find this apalling and it has
galvanised me ever since to learn and consider the value of all that was taken away
through colonisation. We should have done better, we must do better.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
Its a collective statement created and agreed upon by large numbers of First Nations
People. It provides a direction and a vision for the whole country to truly move towards
reconciliation and hopefully, a Treaty.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
I honestly can't believe we haven't got this already but it is one of the most powerful
ways to shift the power imbalance that has existed for 200 years here. Indigenous
voices are ignored, silenced or dismissed and this could at least bring some of the
Aboriginal Perspectives into the conversation, with some power to influence decisions.
Personally I won't rest until we have an Aboriginal Prime Minister and an Aboriginal
Peoples' Party...but for that to happen we must have huge change eg a Treaty.
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 already be in the Constitution but we all know the history of that by now,
supposedly Aboriginal people didn't even exist and were not here but were only flora and
fauna??? It is residue of racist policies (and Genocide in my opinion) that has left the
First Nations People outside of Parliament, outside of power, influence, resources or
choice. They must be able to self-determine processes and this won't happen unless we
get less white voices and more black ones.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
What a question.... of course it is important. Why would anyone think that things should
be decided 'for them' or done 'to them'?? That is supremely disrespectful and is a legacy
of the traumatic takeover that occured in this country with the hite invasion and
unfortunately carries on to this day. We must embrace Aboriginal Knowledge and
Culture and Wisdom or else this place will remain sick and racist and toxic
I feel hopeful for the first time in a long time that we may be able to heal some of this
country's tragic and disgusting past. Change comes slowly, especially when the people
who hold the power don't want to let go. But it is SO IMPORTANT. We can't all be right
until this is addressed and we must listen to Indigenous Voices, let them lead the way to
where this needs to go and offer support, opportunities and encouragement until they
say this is good enough. We know it's not now...look at the Stats. SHAMEFUL! White
Australia has caused so much damage. Let Indigenous people feel that they matter, see
that they count, experience understanding and remorse and re-dress. If we don't have
the courage to do that as a nation, then we cannot claim to be at all 'civilised' or 'first
world'. Worse still, we will lose invaluable wisdom that we will never find again and our
country will slowly die (as it is already)