I acknowledge that I am an uninvited and non-legal settler on the Lands of the Kaurna Nation. I have heard the generous Invitation of the Sovereign Nations of this Land in their Statement from the Heart, and I believe that we settlers from many distant lands must respond to this Statement and Invitation to Makarata respectfully, and request Treaty with the Nations. Our moral integrity can be restored only in this fashion.
I believe that this is the proper order, and that we Settlers are morally bound to respectfully approach the Sovereign Nations. There is enormous wisdom and justice for the whole country if the Indigenous people of Australia are treated in a fair way. It is the mark of a civilised country and it will allow all Australians to feel that they are part of something that extends back for tens of thousands of years. Two centuries is a shallow period of time and now is the time to rectify the mistakes of our past.
I am a newcomer to this country - an Irish citizen who has spent thirty formative years in New Zealand. The journey into learning how to become culturally capable is something that every nation must do. We no longer wish to be associated with paternalism and violence against peoples whose connection with country can enrich everyone.
I wholeheartedly support the Uluru Statement From the Heart and call on the Australian Government to endorse an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, described by Professor Dr Marcia Langton and Professor Tom Calma in the Indigenous Voice Discussion Paper (Commonwealth of Australia, 2021). As outlined in their proposal, an Indigenous voice should be both local and national to enhance decision making, where levels of government can work together and partner with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The actions proposed by Indigenous led organisations, and that I support, include the following strategies:
1. Immediately review the process to establish an Indigenous voice to parliament to ensure the Australian public is educated on the issue with time to reflect and consider their position prior to a referendum.
2. The Indigenous voice must be enshrined in the constitution following a referendum, prioritising Indigenous rights and promoting reconciliation.
I ask that the government honours its election commitment to a referendum once the model for the Voice has been settled;
I wish you well, in peace, Professor Mary Butler