Submissions: Your Feedback

Submissions from people and organisations who have agreed to have their feedback published are provided below.

The views expressed in these submissions belong to their authors. The National Indigenous Australians Agency reserved the right not to publish submissions, or parts of submissions, that include, for example, material that is offensive, racist, potentially defamatory, personal information, is a copy of previously provided materials, or does not relate to the consultation process.

An auto-generated transcript of submissions provided as attachments has been made available to assist with accessibility. These transcripts may contain transcription errors. Please refer to the source file for the original content.

Please note not all submissions are provided in an attachment. For submissions without an attachment, click on the name of the person or organisation to view the text.

Site functionality has recently been improved. You can now search by participant name and submission number. You can also click on the number, date and participant column headings to sort the order of submissions.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that submissions may contain images or names of deceased people.

If you require any further assistance please contact Co-designVoice@niaa.gov.au.


Submission Number
Troy Byrnes
Submission date

Troy Byrnes
Wyoming 2250

To whom it may concern

Submission to Co-design process

My name is Troy Byrnes. I was born in Brisbane on Jagera Land, my family then moved to the Northern Beaches of Sydney where I spent most of my youth growing up. I now live on the Central Coast of NSW on Darkinjung Country. I'm currently studying a Masters of Social Work at Western Sydney University, which I started this year. My family lineage extends back to the late 1700's where the first of us arrived as convicts by boat, we have lived on the land we call “Australia” since invasion. Because of this I feel a stronger need to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination and autonomy through the Uluru Statement of Support and a constitutionally protected Voice to Parliament.

Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
The Uluru Statement of the Heart is important because since invasion Indigenous people have experienced successive governments working against, working above and working for Indigenous people. Rarely have then been granted the self-determination, autonomy, they need to have their voice heard in a country that has often rendered them powerless. They need a political role in influencing policy and legislation that directly effects them and an active and participatory role in the democratic life of the state which has been denied to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities since invasion. We need to work with and not for, to empower, not render powerless. The Uluru Statement of the Heart presents a roadmap for that to be accomplished.

Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
It’s important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution rather than legislation because this is the only way it will protected for generations to come. And the symbolic significance of enshrining the voice in our constitution will have an impact also.

How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
When the lives of the disadvantaged and disenfranchised in our broader community are improved, then the lives of all of us are improved. A voice to parliament will provide the opportunity for better relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people throughout Australia.

Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
It's important that Indigenous people have a say on what matters affect them because as we've seen with 230 years plus of ongoing and sustained colonisation, everything White Australia has imposed on Indigenous people has only made things worse, has dispossessed them further and created decades of inter-generational trauma. Indigenous people have their own ways of doing and being, the government has continually attempted to suppress and destroy that autonomy. We need to grant that autonomy and self-determination back, only then can healing begin.

Thank you,
Troy Byrnes



We acknowledge the Traditional Owners and custodians of country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to the people, the cultures and the Elders past, present and emerging.