2816

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Submission Number
2816
Participant
Anonymous
Submission date

Wollstonecraft NSW 2065

To whom it may concern

Submission to Co-design process

I am a non indigenous Australian who lives in Wollstonecraft and works in the community. I'm currently working on my Masters studying complex problems such as those being experienced in the Aboriginal communities and in Australian society. I grew in the United States before moving to Australia, also on land stolen from Indigenous peoples.

Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
It is essential to recognise that the land we conduct our day-to-day business on, and live our lives on, was stolen from the indigenous population. Furthermore it is widely recognised that their form of conducting this business, building community, and managing the land on which we live was far superior to that of Western civilization which colonised this land. Not only do we have the ethical responsibility to include all citizens in decision making in a meaningful way, but perhaps more importantly the Aboriginal community has untapped wisdom to share and a unique and Irreplaceable voice to offer in decision-making. It is important to have a permanent channel for this voice to be heard to parliament.

How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
The Australian society at large could be vastly improved in noticeable (crime, homelessness, real opportunities for aboriginal quality of life improvement) and less noticeable (psychological, cultural guilt, country pride, identity, etc) ways by recognising past errors, including dominance of and imposition on other humans who had a right to this land, indelible human rights, and more knowledge of the land and quality living. It is important for Australians to understand that internationally the Aboriginal population is highly respected, and there is a key interest in understanding their deep knowledge and culture. This aboriginal culture has been stamped out in current Australian society, instead of being seen as a unique benefit. The aboriginal voice and heritage merits international attention, yet is not appreciated or highlighted within Australia and by Australians in common culture. Through providing the Aboriginal voice to parliament Australia can both rectify it's wrongs and also take advantage of a unique feature of its culture which is currently neglected and untapped.

Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
The Aboriginal voice should have been part of the constitution from the very start as a permanent resource and advisor, relating to all decisions relating to Australian land & society.

Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
The patriarchal concept that indigenous people are not equal in capacity to manage their own matters is outdated and insulting. The colonisers must recognise that it is no longer their right to manage the destiny and decisions for a community that is not represented in that decision-making.

It is long past time for Australia to put aside small mind thinking and look at the big picture internationally to understand the benefits of both rectifying its past mistakes, reconciling with the fact that aboriginal people have equal rights, and *also recognising the invaluable resource it has within it in its Aboriginal heritage.

Thank you