(redacted) Mosman Park, WA 6012
To whom it may concern
Submission for Co-design process
I represent (Chair) the organisation ManKind Project (MKP) Australia Limited (a non-profit that supports men in developing emotional literacy and has had thousands of Australian men access its trainings, including Aboriginal men). As an organisation we are a large community of men with varying degrees of connection to the ongoing governance, trainings and weekly circles of men that meet all over Australia under the MKP name.
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
Our organisation has as a core value a strong sense of 'sovereignty'. For the individual and for groups. We acknowledge that deep acceptance of the sovereignty of ourselves and others is the beginning of healing, empowerment and connection.
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
A voice to Parliament would be a solid beginning of the needs of Aboriginal people being heard. We have members who are Aboriginal. The Voice will speak needs that they have determined for Aboriginal people themselves, not others on their behalf. The healing that we expect would flow from this in the long term will improve the lives of not only Aboriginal people, but all of our community, and of all Australians.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
This is the path to self-determination. Without a voice that we trust to be heard we cannot feel other than disempowered. When we are not fully heard how likely is it that we will get sound decisions on matters that affect us.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
Constitutional change is a major and important step in overcoming the wrongs of the past. Creating that change will require a heart decision from all voting Australians. When enshrined that will have implications for much legislation. We believe Australia is ready.
For many years MKP Aust communities have actively sought and built relationship with local Aboriginal leaders and communities. Standing in solidarity with them and supporting them in their striving for self-determination is consistent with our values of Integrity, Authenticity, Accountability, Generosity, Compassion, Respect and Cultural Awareness. One of our organisational 'objects' is: " .. to run programs to redefine and implement accountability, integrity and to take personal responsibility to assist in the prevention and reduction of harmful or abusive behaviour to themselves their families and their community.”