Dear Co-Design Body
Submission for Co-design process
I am a mature age undergraduate student at Deakin University, doing a double major in Psychology and Gender Studies. I have qualifications from a previous degree in Education to teach in Secondary Schools. I support myself whilst studying working as a Business Specialist for the Probe Group advising small business. I am from Brisbane, Queensland and moved to Melbourne, Victoria to pursue my studies in specialist subjects.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is vital towards reconciliation and in respecting, honouring and listening our indigenous community, history, brothers and sisters. It honours their wisdom and voice and recognises their place as the custodians, and their connection, to the land we live on. Sovereignty was never ceded. The participation and leadership should play a significant part in Australia’s future.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
It is important it is in the constitution as the constitution is the ultimate, bottom line foundation upon which Australia and Australians build our identity and determine who and what we are and do. Indigenous Australians were here first. They are our foundation. They are this country. They must be included in our foundational document.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
It will give voice to diverse perspectives and create space and place for indigenous Australians within community. It is a matter of equality and equity. These are democratic values and values Australians have been proud to sum up in one word - mateship.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
Any person needs a sense of control and autonomy in their life for good mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. Indigenous people are no different. Having a say in matters affecting them honours their cultural diversity, personal sovereignty and wisdom. Their perspective is valuable and necessary for their and their communities well-being. People in privileged positions cannot know the experience of indigenous peoples and must listen to understand as well as empower people and communities to effective action.
I hope we ‘walk our talk’ of Australian values of equality, mateship, equity and a ‘fair-go’ by accepting the Uluru Statement from the Heart and take it to heart.