Dear Voice Secretariat
I have been reading and listening to the stories about the development of the Interim Voice Report and have become aware of the past 10 years of efforts that have led to this point. I have confidence in the Uluru Statement being an authentic representative statement of our First Nations people. I am hopeful that this government will do something to ensure their voice is heard, and not just now, but protected way into the future.
As a second-generation Australian, I am embarrassed that there is no formal process for our First Nations people to ensure their insights and opinions are taken into consideration in decisions affecting this country. They have lived on this land for more than 60,000 years. They are the world’s oldest surviving culture. This is a heritage that we should be proud to acknowledge and respect.
Listening and taking other people’s feedback into consideration is how responsible and accountable human beings achieve progress in a democracy. It doesn’t provide power, but it builds relationships, understanding and peace. All of these are much needed attributes in our society of today.
In my work as a volunteer through St Vincent de Paul Society, I regularly visit First Nations people in their homes, located in and around the Mt Druitt area of Sydney. These amazingly patient people deserve to be heard. They have valid viewpoints that need to be shared. Our country is better off for their contribution and I am grateful for the interactions I have with them.
Please find a way to enshrine in our constitution a way for our First Nations people to be heard by Parliament. This is an important opportunity for all Australians.
Hills Region Social Justice Representative for St Vincent de Paul