475

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Submission Number
475
Participant
Anna Hartree
Submission date
Main Submission Automated Transcript

Submission to Indigenous Voice Co-Design Process

Support for a VOICE to Parliament, enshrined in the Constitution

Anna Hartree

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to express my support for the creation of a Representative Advisory Voice to
Parliament as detailed in the Interim Report on the Indigenous Voice Co-Design Process. I
am writing to take the opportunity to offer comments on the Interim Report on the design
of this National Voice.

I would like to thank the work of the Advisory Team in creating the Interim Report to the
Australian Government on the Indigenous Voice Co-Design Process.

I strongly advocate for a Constitutional Amendment that enshrines a National Advisory First
Nations Voice that is representative of voices across national, regional and local
communities.

Whilst Constitutional enshrinement was outside of the terms of reference of the co-design
team, I believe Constitutional enshrinement is needed to ensure the Voice’s stability,
certainty and flexibility.

I stand with 86% of the Australian general community 1, and in solidarity with 91% of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2 who believe it is important for a
representative Indigenous Body to be established to share the views of Indigenous
Australians regarding Indigenous affairs and policies.

I support a call for a Referendum, so this can be constitutionally enshrined.

I am not a Frist Nations Person however Constitutional reform is extremely important to me.
I strongly believe that Australian First Nations needs to be recognised in the constitution. I
believe that this would provide a strong and powerful message to First Nations People that
their culture, practices and histories are part of all our shared histories. It is ironic that
along with the Sydney Opera House, the most recognised symbols of Australia overseas is
First Nation Art and yet as a people they are not acknowledge in the our most important
document – the Constitution.

I request that the Federal government honours its 2019 electoral promise to take a model
for a First Nations VOICE to Parliament, to a referendum.

1
Reconciliation Australia, 2020 Australian Reconciliation Barometer, p. 14. https://www.reconciliation.org.au/wp-
content/uploads/2020/11/australian_reconciliation_barometer_2020_-full-report_web.pdf
2 Ibid.
1. The National VOICE must be represented by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Peoples to ensure self-determination. Following calls from the Uluru Statement from
the Heart, I advocate for a Makaratta Commission to supervise the creation of the
advisory First Nations Voice.
2. The National VOICE member model must be a model that ensures ALL Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Island grassroot voices are heard from every level.

95% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and 94% of the general community
believe it is important for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have a say in
matters that affect them. 3 The creation of the Voice would therefore reflect the popularity
of the motion and the priorities of both the general Australian public and Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

This is a crucial step in Australia’s national journey of reconciliation, and Constitutional
enshrinement of a First Nations Voice to Parliament would enact a cultural change of
Australian identity that honours the place of Australia’s First Peoples, and would empower
them to have influence the decisions that govern their lives.

Supporter,

Anna Hartree

20 March 2021

3
Reconciliation Australia, 2020 Australian Reconciliation Barometer, p. 62. https://www.reconciliation.org.au/wp-
content/uploads/2020/11/australian_reconciliation_barometer_2020_-full-report_web.pdf