NAIDOC WEEK 2021
Posted 10 Jul 2021 02:00PM by Margaret Hinchey
Updated on 10 Jul 2021 08:19PM by Luke Beuchat
During NAIDOC week I watched some zoom talks by Indigenous lawyers and others on the Uluru Statement. They made it quite clear that only an Indigenous Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution will be accepted by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and many non-Indigenous people in the community.
Minister Ken Wyatt has stated the Government’s co-design process will only legislate for a Voice to Government. This means, as it has in the past, that it can be wiped out by the stroke of a politician’s pen. Only by having it enshrined in the Constitution through a referendum will the Voice be protected.
There are misunderstandings and disinformation being used to deny the possibility of a genuine response to the Uluru Statement so below are some facts to help clarify the truth.
WHAT THE ULURU CALL FOR AN INDIGENOUS VOICE ENSHRINED IN THE CONSTITUTION IS NOT:
1. Another chamber of Parliament
2. Giving Indigenous Peoples a vote in Parliament or the ability to make laws.
3. A process based on race.
4. A separation of Australians based on race.
WHAT THE ULURU CALL FOR AN INDIGENOUS VOICE ENSHRINED IN THE CONSTITUTION IS;
1. A representative body of Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples to give ADVICE to Parliament on issues that affect them.
2. Indigenous is not about race. There is one race - the human race- with a multitude of expressions.
3. Indigenous refers to people native to, or first, or originating in a particular place before incursions from other people or groups. There are over 350 million Indigenous peoples around the world, recognised and supported as such by the United Nations.
4. Indigenous peoples retain strong links to land and surrounding natural resources; have distinct social, economic and political systems; have distinct language, culture and beliefs.
5. The Uluru Statement by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is a positive and generous invitation to all Australians to recognise their unique place in our ancient continent and to walk together with them for a united and better future for all.