Submission regarding the Indigenous Voice
I call on the government to adopt an Indigenous Voice enshrined in the Australian
Constitution. It is critically important that the existence of the Voice is unable to be snuffed
out, and Indigenous voices silenced, by legislation in the way it has been in the past. We
must consider what is a fair and practical change that will make a meaningful difference to
the lives of Indigenous people, and a Voice enshrined in the Constitution will do that. The
government made an electoral commitment to a referendum on this Constitutional change,
and Australians expect the government to fulfil that commitment. Many of my family and
friends support the Uluru Statement from the Heart including the Voice being enshrined in
the Constitution. This is an important opportunity to unify the Australian people.
A Voice enshrined in the Constitution will give it the certainty and continuity needed to help
over the long term to address the multi-faceted challenges facing Indigenous people in
Australia through advice to government, without being subjected to political changes based
on populism and the electoral cycle.
A call upon the government to hold a referendum on the Voice in the next term of
Parliament, and if successful, to pass the enabling legislation in the same term.
One of the critical aspects of the Voice is that the method of determining the membership
of the Voice must ensure that previously unheard Indigenous people have an equal chance
of becoming members of the Voice alongside established Indigenous leadership figures.
There are many emerging and lower profile leaders among the Indigenous community and
they have deep understanding of the challenges that Indigenous people face in their lives,
and importantly, what is needed to address them.