To whom it may concern
Co-design process: Submission
I currently work in the mental health care for expecting and new parents, and have worked for many years supporting the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the fields of public health, palliative care, suicide prevention and postvention, and mental health care. I live on Ngambri Ngunnawal country which has been cared for over centuries by the original Custodians of the land.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
Indigenous Australians represent many nations and voices, and they have come together to develop a strong and single message through the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
A Voice to Parliament will assist the government to work in true partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples so as to truly seek to achieve the bedpost outcomes for all Australians. The format of the Voice needs to be developed through co-design and to represent the needs of Indigenous Australians.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
In healthcare the saying nothing about without me represents the importance of everyone understanding the issues surrounding their condition and care and contributing to decisions about that care. Clearly Indigenous Australians deserve that same simple dignity of having a say in matters that affect them.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
Many argue against including the Voice in the Constitution purely on the basis of difficulty in passing referendums on Constitutional change. This problem could be avoided is all political parties openly supported the Voice and recommended it to the Australian people. A Voice that is legislated only is better than no Voice, but it is subject to political whims - the same political whims that have not served Indigenous Australians well in the past.
I am incredibly excited to live at this moment in time that could witness such significant change in the way that we make decisions about all Australians. This is an opportunity to create ongoing partnership, to truly hear and respect the input of those who are affected, and ultimately to create a far better Australia.