2839

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Submission Number
2839
Participant
Philanthropy Australia
Submission date
Main Submission Automated Transcript

Philanthropy Australia Ltd.
ACN 070 104 255
ABN 79 578 875 531 philanthropy.org.au
1300 511 500

30 April 2021

By Email: co-designvoice@niaa.gov.au

Submission in Response to the Indigenous Voice Discussion Paper

Philanthropy Australia supports the call for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, enshrined in the
Constitution.

We accept the invitation in the Uluru Statement from the Heart to walk together with First Nations
peoples in a movement of the Australian people for a better future. We have conveyed this support
through an open letter, published in July 20191, and this submission is consistent with that statement of
support.

We believe that an Indigenous Voice to Parliament is an essential first step in achieving Voice, Treaty,
Truth, and giving expression to the ancient and unbroken sovereignty that has existed in Australia for
over 60,000 years.

In relation to the design of the Voice, Philanthropy Australia supports the positions of From the Heart and
the Uluru Statement, which call for the following:

1. That the Government honour its election commitment to a referendum once the model for the
Voice is decided, to ensure that it is protected by the Constitution;
2. That the enabling legislation for the Voice be passed after a referendum has been held in the
next term of Parliament;
3. That the membership model ensures that previously unheard First Nations people have the same
opportunity to be selected to the Voice as established figures.

Philanthropy in Australia is an emerging and maturing sector, preceded by tens of thousands of years of
First Nations culture featuring ancient practices of reciprocity and generosity. As the peak membership
body for philanthropy, we are committed to being strong and supportive allies of Australia’s First Nations
peoples, to platforming First Nations-lead funder organisations and charities, and to encouraging
philanthropic practices which empower First Nations leadership. As such, we emphasise that it is the
voices and experiences of First Nations leaders that must be listened to in terms of determining the
model of the Voice that is adopted.

An Indigenous Voice to Parliament has the potential to be a force for First Nations empowerment and
facilitate national reconciliation and healing. However, it must be more than merely tokenistic. It must be
constitutionally enshrined, it must give voice to regional and grassroots figures, facilitate local decision-
making processes, and it must acknowledge the diversity of First Nations experience.

Thank you for the opportunity to make this submission. If you have any further questions regarding
Philanthropy Australia’s position, we invite you to contact our Acting Director of Policy & Research
Krystian Seibert at kseibert@philanthropy.org.au.

1
Available here: https://www.philanthropy.org.au/tools-resources/news/media-release-phil…-
responds-to-uluru-statement/
Philanthropy Australia Ltd.
ACN 070 104 255
ABN 79 578 875 531 philanthropy.org.au
1300 511 500

Yours sincerely,

Jack Heath
CEO
Philanthropy Australia