Melbourne, Vic, 3004
To whom it may concern
Submission to Co-design process
I am 63yo, a wife, mother of three, grandmother to two, volunteer, and retiree. I am not Aboriginal nor Torres Strait Islander, my heritage is British. My family has been Australian for many generations. I live in a major city. My paid working life was with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. I have lived in Port Hedland and Bunbury as well as Perth and Melbourne. I have seen different parts of Australia on my travels. Australian history is longer than any other part of the world and yet we marvel at built (reBuilt ) cathedrals and roads in Europe. I am educating myself about the TRUTH of this land becoming "Australia".
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a distillation and agreement resulting from numerous consultations and conferencing among the Aboriginal people. This is a genuine "roadmap" for healing which has been gifted to Australia. It is imperative that Australian society accepts this gift and follows the roadmap. It is imperative that there is: 1) a First Nations VOICE to Parliament, which is enshrined in the Constitution; 2) dialogue resulting in TREATY between First Nations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples) and Australian Government(s), 3) TRUTH TELLING - it is time to 'bring the skeletons from the closet'. Terrible things were done in the past by and to the invading Colonists. It is absolutely time this was recognised and discussed . Hopefully this will bring about HEALING on all sides. As Dr Ungunmerr Baumann said after accepting her Senior Australian of the Year award "We learnt to speak your English fluently, walked on a one-way street to learn the white people's way. Now is the time for you to come closer to understand us and to understand how we live and to listen to what needs are in our communities."
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
A Voice to Parliament will improve the lives of every Australian. With acceptance and recognition of the story of this land, since it was first colonised by Britain, The Voice will enable Australia to hear Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Through The Voice Australians will learn how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People are, or will be, impacted by legislation. The enshrined Voice will see improvements in the lives of Indigenous People throughout this land. My life will be improved by not worrying so much as I do now. My mental health will also improve as my SOUL is weighed down by my knowledge of the past, pre and post colonisation.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
It is absolutely necessary for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to have their say in matters which affect them. One only has to look at how disempowered city people felt when they were made to LOCKDOWN. The removal of decision making ability (rights) is strongly felt. Decision makers 'write the rules and obligations' according to what they know. How many of those decision makers have had ANY experience of the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples?
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
It is imperative that the Voice to Parliament is enshrined in the Australian Constitution. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were caring for this land for tens of thousands of years. They were well and truly established when the British Monarchy enabled the attempted genocide and destruction of the societal norms of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. Having shredded their complex society it is fair and necessary to give their descendants a Voice. A Voice which is formalised in the Constitution, which cannot be altered in anyway without the approval of the majority of this Nation. This is way too important for it to be left to the whims and beliefs of ordinary politicians.
I was gutted when Malcolm Turnbull, as Prime Minister rejected the Uluru Statement from the Heart .