My name is Frederick Copperwaite. I am a Bunuba man. my
great grandmother was a traditional owner of Bunuba country on what is now known as
Fitzroy Crossing, Western Australia. I am a member of the stolen generations.
I am adhering my voice to this submission to support the principles and framework
presented by ‘From the Heart’ movement as outlined in the points below. I concur with the
understanding that co-design means the current proposals are not complete and that it is
critical that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people contribute their experience and
ideas into this consultation process. I believe in a constructive contribution to this important
Summary of submission:
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.
And in following this co-design process, it is imperative that we turn our minds to the
constitutional and legislative arrangements to enact the Voice in a deliberate process. The
legislative design of the Voice cannot be decoupled from its constitutional enshrinement. A
Voice enshrined in the Constitution is a fair, practical and safe proposal that will unify our
Summary of key positions:
1. Response to Interim Co-Design Proposals
o § The National Voice must be representative of the diverse populations and
needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:
o § The National Voice must speak to the Commonwealth Parliament and
Government on policy and legislation.
o § The National Voice must not be a ‘third chamber’ of Parliament.
o § The National Voice must not deliver programs or services.
o § The National Voice must act and operate independently from the
Parliament and Government.
2. The National Voice must be enshrined in the Constitution
o § Enabling legislation for the Voice must be passed after a referendum has
been held in the next term of Parliament.
o § For the avoidance of doubt, the National Voice must not be legislated or
otherwise implemented before a referendum is held.
3. Two-stage process to establish the Voice:
o § There should be a separate structured process to consider the
constitutional, legislative and executive options to enact the National Voice
following the completion of the Voice Co-Design Final Report. This process
will result in:
o § An exposure draft bill for the Voice as per the final Co-Design report to give
the Australian public a comprehensive look at the details of the Voice before
a referendum is held;
o §A draft constitutional amendment for a new provision for a Voice that will
then be put to the Australian people for a vote in a referendum; and
o § A pathway to a referendum in the next term of Parliament.