To whom it may concern
Submission to Co-design process
I am currently living in Geelong which is Wadawurrung Country. I moved from Melbourne a couple of years ago. I've also lived in many different countries around the world, including the UK and the US. Australia is my home.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
It is important for Indigenous people to be represented in the Australian Constitution. But further to that it's also crucial that they have the opportunity to be engaged in the law-making that will directly affect them. After learning about the process and stakeholder engagement undertaken to finalise the Uluru Statement from the Heart, I support it. I also trust the judgement of those First Nations people who have created it - and support their objectives.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
I believe Indigenous people want a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia, and a better future for their children based on justice and self-determination. In the past, there have been many failed programs and initiatives in this space as there hasn't been appropriate self-determination with Indigenous individuals and communities. Voice to Parliament can help enshrine this self-determination of Indigenous peoples.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
I think this would create more space for conversations and truth telling about Australia's history. I believe among other things, many Australians are saddened by the incarceration rates, and deaths in custody, of Indigenous people. I think our communities want Indigenous people to have self-determination to tackle these issues how they think best. I think it would increase harmony and hope if Voice to Parliament was implemented.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
Legislation can be amended and repealed more easily. I also believe if this is included in the Constitution there will be more opportunities for Australian people to discuss this issue and learn more about it - which would be a good thing.