2941

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Submission Number
2941
Participant
Helen Townley
Submission date
Main Submission Automated Transcript

Helen Townley

30 April 2021

Submission for Co-design process

I was inspired to make this submission by the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The Uluru
Statement from the Heart is important because it is reflects an Indigenous designed and
led deliberative process asking First Nations what meaningful constitutional recognition
would be to them. This historic process resulted in the adoption of the Uluru Statement
from the Heart in May 2017, which clarified that there is one proposal for recognition that
has consensus support from First Nations Peoples: the constitutional enshrinement of a
First Nations Voice to Parliament. This is the proposal that should be implemented.

It is critical for First Nations Peoples to have a meaningful say in the matters that affect
them to address the legacy of dispossession, genocide, racism, injustice and
disadvantage and to change Australia's appalling history of stolen generations and
deaths in custody which continues today.

The most important reason for enshrining the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution is
because it supports First Nations peoples' preferred model. Recognising First Nations
People through a Voice to Parliament in the Constitution is an issue of fundamental
importance to our nation and our national identity. It should therefore be reflected in our
Constitution.

Importantly, a voice to Parliament will provide a path to improving the lives of First
Nations Peoples. However, it will improve the lives of all Australians, by making Australia
a more fair and equal country, and providing a way to start to address past and current
injustices. It will provide a meaningful foundation to work towards closing the gap in
health, economic and social outcomes and making a real difference to addressing the
current disadvantage experienced by First Australians.

I hope this government will properly implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart and
seize this critical opportunity to make real progress on closing the gap in health,
employment, economic, social outcomes and create true equality for all Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Yours sincerely
Helen Townley