News

Tuesday, March 30th

Supporting First Nations' Voice

By St Marys in Exile

We are an Inclusive Faith Community from Brisbane committed to the pursuit of social justice. For many years we have taken our commitment to work with and alongside First Nations people for justice. So we are making this submission to the Federal Government.

We acknowledge and celebrate the fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples have had over 60000 years on-going deep spiritual-traditional cultural connection to this land. The oldest living culture in our world.

The measure of any society is how it treats all its people especially to assist all to feel that they are welcome and belong. The "From the Heart Uluru Statement" invites all Australians to see that Aboriginal and Torres Strait people have been dispossessed and unjustly treated in their own land. That their connection to this land has never been fully respected by the Australian Government and the wider Australian Community. 

As a community we have studied and discussed the Uluru Statement and we agree that as a nation that we accept the invitation that it is time to address the many injustices and treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Peoples. We ask the Australian Government to bring about substantive changes in the legal processes that deny Frist Nations peoples their dignity and rightful place in this land under Australian Law.

Firstly, we call on the Australian Government to honour its commitment to call a referendum on the issue of a Voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people in the life of the next term of the Australian Government.

Secondly, we call on the Australian Government to pass legislation that will enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Peoples to be formally consulted on decisions and issues that affect them and their culture through a Voice to Parliament.

Thirdly, we call on the Australian Government to pass legislation for the Voice to Parliament to be established within the next term of its office.

And finally, we ask that whatever model for the Voice to Parliament is decided on, that it includes representation from less well-known Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander voices as well as the voices of more established First Nations Leaders.

Sincerely,

Father Terry Fitzpatrick 
on behalf of
St Marys In Exile 
PO Box 3449
South Brisbane, 4101