Professor Dr Marcia Langton AO and Professor Tom Calma AO, co-chairs of the Senior Advisory Group leading the Indigenous voice co-design process, outline why they think an Indigenous voice is important in a new video.
The transcript is available below.
Professor Dr Marcia Langton AO (ML):
For me, an Indigenous voice is the missing part of Australia’s political system. For most of Australian history we’ve been denied a voice, to have a say in our own affairs.
Professor Tom Calma AO (TC):
An Indigenous voice for me is really an opportunity to be able to tell politicians, to tell the Government, to tell the Parliament what we as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people believe should happen and how Government policies and programs should really be designed, hearing our voice and making sure that we are the ones who come up with the solutions and present them to Government and not the other way around.
Personally, I want a more robust system, and I want Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to feel assured that their concerns are seriously considered by Parliament and by the Australian Government. This will affect whether or not we can close the gap on the many disadvantages that our people face in health, education, employment, housing, and so many other fields.
It is time, now is time for the bureaucrats, the policy makers, the program managers to hear the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people so that the programs that are being delivered to us, for us, are developed by us. We have to have a say because we have the solutions. Work with us and we will have a better future.