I am a counsellor and have worked in the human support field for over 30 years, 9 of those spent in the jail system where I worked with many indigenous clients. The stories carried by Australian indigenous people have broken my heart but even more so this kind of change has been required for many many years and spoken of for many many years and still we are waiting. I work in private practice now and do EAP counselling across Australia, based in Queensland
Why do you think the Uluru Statement from the Heart is important?
Because it is the truth and it is a truth waiting to be realised by this nation
How could a Voice to Parliament improve the lives of your community?
Constitutional change and recognition is imperative to a shift in focus, power and priority for indigenous people. There would be a direct line from national parliament through which the voices and needs of indigenous people on their local country could be heard and implemented in the ways that they specifically need.
Why do you think it's important to enshrine the Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, rather than include it only in legislation?
See previous answer. It is simply the level of recognition that is required. It is a matter of finally creating the constitutional justice that the Uluru Statement requests and recognising long neglected human rights and dignity.
Why is it important for Indigenous people to have a say in the matters that affect them?
I don't have a legal mind but it must be apparent to anyone that the continuing and disproportionately impactful struggles of Australia's indigenous people mean that this proactive approach is simply a dire necessity.
This is agonizingly overdue and there should be no hesitation in responding to this wonderfully empowered quest for full constitutional recognition.