To Co-Design Body
Submission to Co-design process
My name is Chloé Tremblay-Goyette and I work at Médecins Sans Fronitières/Doctors
Without Borders Australia, where I am a member of the Reconciliation Action Plan
working group. I have recently completed my master's degree in International and
Intercultural Communication at Université du Québec à Montréal in Canada, where I
grew up. I recently became a permanent resident of Australia and I am eager to support
building and supporting the community of which I am part of.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is pushing for changes that are long overdue. It is
an initiative based on Indigenous deliberations and is led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander peoples. Rather than having the government deciding what is best for
Indigenous Australians, this group has been consulting their members for the past 4
years in order to tell the Australian people what they need, which is a representative
body that acts as a legislative voice in Parliament.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
It is important for everyone to have a say in the matters that affect them. Unfortunately,
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have been denied that chance for too long. It
would be the bare minimum to ensure that they do have a voice - and will be listened to -
when it comes to matters that directly impact them.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution,
rather than include it only in legislation?
Giving the Voice constitutional entrenchment would not only provide it with greater
standing and authority, it would also ensure that it would have a genuine power to
negotiate treaty and processes. Furthermore, a constitutional entrenchment would
guarantee that the legislative body would be protected, and therefore would not have to
fear abolition from one government to the next.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
A Voice to Parliament would ensure that decisions are taken in the best interest of the
community beyond partisanship. I am confident that a Voice to parliament would not only
have positive outcomes for social justice, it would also be a valuable input regarding the
management of the land, which most (if not all) communities would benefit from.
The Voice not only needs to be protected, it must have the right resources to exercise its
sovereignty. I believe this would strengthen its capacity to provide input to law and policy
changes that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.