2947

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Submission Number
2947
Participant
Josephine Cashman
Submission date
Main Submission Automated Transcript

Voice Secretariat
Reply Paid 83380
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Re: Indigenous Voice

To Whom It May Concern,

My name is Josephine Cashman and I am a proud Australian. I am honoured to be a
descendant of the Warrimay Aboriginal people from the mid north coast of New South
Wales. According to oral history, Warrimay lands were originally bounded by four rivers,
the Hunter River to the south, the Manning River to the north and the Allyn and Patterson
Rivers to the west. The Warrimay tribe was comprised of 18 clan groups (ngurras) with their
lands fell within the area of the Maiangal ngurra and all Warrimay people spoke the
Gathang language. Traditionally my people used Stockton Bight to travel between the
northern and southern parts of our land, known as Birubi Point to the north and Stockton to
the south. European settlers noted the Warrimay people who inhabited Port Stephens
were slightly fairer, taller and more muscular than the Eora people of Port Jackson in
Sydney.

I have sustained a continuing connection with my land and I am equally proud of my
Colonial ancestors who have been in Australia for more than six generations, living on the
mid north coast of NSW. My colonial ancestor, William Henry Ralston McClymont was born
in Newcastle on 30 August 1828 and was amongst the first Europeans born in Australia and
his family established the first Newcastle Inn. Henry Carmichael was William McClymont's
stepson and belonged to the group who founded adult education in Australia. He
established the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts in 1833 and the Newcastle School of Arts
in 1835. In 1838 he moved with his family to the fertile farmland of the Hunter Valley and
planted vineyards on his property at Porphyry Point, near Seaham. These vines were to
become the finest on the Williams River and Carmichael's wines soon became well known
in the colony. My ancestor Carmichael helped establish and was President of the Hunter
River Vineyard Association and a leader in the NSW wine industry.
Professional experience:

I am a former Crown Prosecutor, a lawyer and a businesswoman with more than two
decades of experience working on the ground towards economic progress for Aboriginal
people. I was an inaugural member of the Prime Ministers Indigenous Advisory Council and
served as the Chair of its Safe Communities Committee until 2017 and I sit on the Board of
the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust. In recognition of my commitment, I was selected as a
friend of the Commonwealth Treasury in 2016 and in 2018, I was an honoured recipient of
the UTS Faculty of Law Alumni Award for Excellence. I have undertaken numerous
consultancy and voluntary roles for a variety of private, public and not for profit
organisations.

In 2016, I founded the Big River Impact Foundation (BRIF) which is an Indigenous
philanthropic entity committed to community involvement in decision making and
economic freedom for Aboriginal people. BRIF aims to transition Indigenous people away
from welfare dependency towards economic freedom by encouraging participation in
training programs, local business opportunities, community centred employment
opportunities and the stimulation of community led economic development. I am
committed to addressing perpetual Indigenous disadvantage. I am determined to offer and
implement pragmatic solutions.

I am writing to protest against the Indigenous voice. I support equality of opportunity and
recognise it is the successful cornerstone of our great nation. Aboriginal disadvantage is
worsening and in some regions, dysfunction has become normalised which is a sad
reflection of our failure to address the real causes of disadvantage.

The Voice must not proceed because the following has not been addressed.

Unresolved Corruption
Australians have spent trillions of dollars on attempting to improve Aboriginal disadvantage.
The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) task force operated between 2007 and 2014 and
visited 145 Indigenous communities, 58 regional towns and held almost 2000 stakeholder
meetings. It found widespread abuse of power and connections with organised crime within
Aboriginal organisations. It confirmed, 'Individuals in positions of authority have engaged in
child abuse, violence and fraud' (refer to link on the website
http://onevoiceaustralia.com.au for details).

Self Appointed Aboriginal Leadership
The same Aboriginal people involved in the Uluru Statement were involved with ATSIC
which had to be dismantled because of corruption. These same people designed the Native
Title Act and control the Voices of Aboriginal people. They have achieved little and have not
improved the quality of life for Aboriginal people. The money they receive does not reach
Aboriginal people living in communities.

Aboriginal identity Fraud
Aboriginal identity fraud causes harm and generates anger in Aboriginal communities. It is
assumed the government and by association, the Australian people do not care. For
instance, many politicians continue to ignore the undeniable evidence proving Bruce Pascoe
has no Aboriginal ancestry (see genealogy report here
https://australianhistory972829073.wordpress.com/2019/10/23/bruce-pascoe-
howaboriginal-is-he/ website for details). It is inappropriate to expect the Australian people
to trust those consulting the government on the implementation of the Voice are all of
Aboriginal descent because identity fraud is known to be rampant. It is also challenging for
Aboriginal people living in communities to trust the Voice process and most do not know
about it.

Mandatory Audits
Aboriginal people have not been consulted comprehensively about the Uluru
Statement. There has been no independent audit of Aboriginal communities and/or
appropriate consultations on the Voice. No alternative strategy has been offered and/or
funded.

The Unknown Risks of the Native Title Act
Native title does not offer the same protection as Crown land. Warren Mundine OAM
suggested native title will cover as much as 70 per cent of Australia by 2030 and the Hon
Gary Johns said it was more like 80 per cent. Native title land is controlled by Aboriginal
organisations which do not offer Aboriginal people shares in their land and/or property
ownership rights. It has proven useless to Aboriginal people and it has prevented them from
achieving economic independence. The self appointed leadership encourages dependence
upon social housing which discourages enterprise. Unlike other countries, share in equity
for social housing tenants does not exist. Tom Calma, former ATSIC Social Justice
Commissioner and Co-Chair of Minister Wyatt’s Voice said, ‘Native title is at the bottom of
the hierarchy of Australian property rights.’

The Voiceless:

It is vital the voices of Aboriginal people living in communities are heard and honoured. It is
not appropriate to consult only those who, for over 50 years have profited from an endless
stream of taxpayer dollars. Nor it is appropriate for the same failed leadership to be
appointed to design and implement a Voice to Parliament. This same Aboriginal elite
leadership has for decades failed to address the growing problems affecting my people
living in communities and the money has rarely reached them.
The Voice to Parliament occurs as a convenient way to deflect the real issues impacting my
people and the privileged leadership group is now accusing Australians of being racist,
which is undermining our nation and dividing our people. As Neville Bonner, the first
Aboriginal person to be elected to the Australian Parliament, as a Liberal Senator for
Queensland warned, 'Beware there are those among us who will pit coloured against white
and white against coloured, Australian against Australian. Bonner claimed agitators were
imitating the Black Power movement in the United States, 'they mean to destroy and to
inflict conflict on this nation. God grant that 1970 will still see racial harmony through our
land.'

I have been visiting Aboriginal communities to discuss these ideas with my people. They
were not consulted about 'the voice'. As .... wisely reminds us, So the last shall be first and
the first last: for many be called but few chosen.
Yours sincerely,

Josephine Cashman