WALLAN VIC 3756
Dear Co-Design Body
Submission for Co-design process
I was born in Melbourne to a large extended family of white Australians. I grew up in the Dandenong area, went to school and uni in Victoria, then briefly moved overseas before returning to start my professional life. For the past 20 years having lived and worked in the greater Melbourne area, I have been struck at how limited the embracing of our First Nations people and cultures has been during my entire lifetime. I am ashamed at how little I learned about their incredible knowledge and culture during my 'education'. I weep that their knowledge is not leveraged to improve health outcomes, fire management and science. It is a national shame and enormous missed opportunity to not be caring for and involving our First Nations in every facet of Australian life.
I have the Uluru Statement from the Heart posted above my desk where I work, which at the moment also happens to be where I live so I engage with it daily. I cannot fathom why all Australians would not gratefully accept such a poignant and beautiful invitation for a better future.
A Voice to Parliament would ensure that our whole community is considered and represented in our future and I feel that it must be enshrined in the Constitution so that it cannot be whittled away by the thousand cuts that so often diminish the laws that keep us safe. The Voice to Parliament is so important a component of the future we all need, it deserves elevation and protection.
Self-determination is a critical right for all people, but for the Australian government to create laws in a land where sovereignty was never ceded, and not engage honestly and meaningfully with our First Nations people is saddening and infuriating.
I also urge the Australian Government and all Australians to engage in a Makarrata Commission so that all our children, and our children's children no longer be exposed to the compounding trauma of stolen generations, black deaths in custody and the worst levels of incarceration in the world. It is beyond time for truth-telling and change, we are so much poorer a nation without it.