I live on the land of the Dharawal people.
I have taken the opportunity to make a submission in response to the Indigenous Voice Discussion Paper because for too many years successive Governments have failed to respond to demands from both Indigenous and other Australians to the historical truth of invasion and appropriation, and the consequences.
The Australian Constitution, by virtue of its failure to acknowledge our true history has led to continuing failure to the address the innate rights of the country’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the innate responsibility of other Australians who live on stolen land. It’s time to make a change.
Acknowledging that history, it is time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices to be enshrined in the constitution, to negotiate treaties with traditional custodians and for all Australians to gain a better understanding of the land we inhabit. Only then can we begin the processes of healing this divided nation.
These are the minimum conditions for beginning the process of genuine remedy:
1.The government must honour its election commitment to a referendum once the model for the Voice has been settled;
2.Enabling legislation for the Voice must be passed after a referendum has been held in the next term of Parliament; and
3.The membership model for the National Voice must ensure previously unheard Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have the same chance of being selected as established leadership figures.
Enshrining the Voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Constitution will contribute to a just recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and progress the struggle for sovereignty and self-determination.
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this necessary and long-overdue process.