Co-design process: Submission
>I have worked with First Nations communities in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Victoria and NSW and have witnessed first hand the conditions in which some Indigenous people live, and some of the hurdles they have to jump before even getting to work in the morning.
The Uluru Statement of the Heart was the result of a deliberative process that brought together the First Nations people from across this country. I do not think that white people like me have listened enough since this continent was colonised. This failure continues to cost us.
Why do you think Australia needs a Voice to Parliament?
>The plight of Australia's First Nation's people is a real blight on the soul of this country and I believe that constitutional recognition, a voice to parliament is a positive step in terms of healing and reconciliation and making Australia a stronger place. It feels like an important therapeutic step for every Australian.
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 a more significant gesture, and not at the whim of change by uncaring governments.
Why do you think Indigenous people should have a Voice to Parliament?
So much damage has been caused by our failure to listen to First Nations people. It's time for us to listen - and that's at every governmental level, but particularly in the Federal parliament, where so often policies have been enacted that have hurt First Nations people.
First Nations people are powerless in many ways, because so often they're represented by people in parliament who have little idea about First Nations people and through their actions cause harm, whether that's through either ignorance or malice. This voice can minimise the chances of this harm continuing - at least ignorance should no longer be an excuse - and can also be a way for First Nations people to gain more power and autonomy.