As a proud descendent of the Tharawal Nation, I ask that the Voice to Parliament be representative of the diverse populations and needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Australian First Nations peoples cannot be generalised or stereotyped. We are the oldest living culture and are made up of over 300 separate Nations. We appear as dark-skinned and light skinned, live in big cities and in rural communities, we were brought up by our strong Blak communities or by family who live in denial of our ancestry. We all face our own traumas as a result of Australia's colonial past and our experiences need to be acknowledged and represented in Parliament.
Secondly, the Voice must be able to speak on and advise the Government on issues that impact us. Topics of multiculturalism, land rights, the environment, the treatment of women and equality are all conversations that REQUIRE First Nations Voices. Our customs, cultural values and connect to land are quintessential to these discussions and are an invaluable asset to the future of Australia's policy making.
I also ask that, once the model for the Voice is decided upon, that the government honours its election commitment to a referendum.
Furthermore, enabling legislation for the Voice must be passed after a referendum has been held in the next term of Parliament; and
the membership model for the National Voice must ensure previously unheard Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the same chance of being selected as established leadership figures.