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Ken Wyatt’s proposed ‘voice to government’ marks another failure to hear Indigenous voices

Uluru Statement First Peoples constitutional recognition Government relations with First Peoples Reconciliation Voice to Parliament Australia

Many will feel a sense of déjà vu when reading the minister for Indigenous Australians’ announcement of a co-design process for a “voice to government”. This is yet another process in the long journey of Indigenous people to set things right and for our voices to be heard.

Ken Wyatt’s announcement states Indigenous people will have the opportunity to have their say on the development of an Indigenous voice to government.This is new and worrying. This “voice to government” is to be legislated and separate from the question of symbolic constitutional recognition. As Wyatt described it, this will also be a co-design process that will develop models to enhance local and regional decision-making.

To begin the “co-design” process, he has, without consultation, appointed professors Tom Calma and Marcia Langton to a senior advisory group. Both are exceptional professionals whose suitability is beyond question. But the process falls short of the government’s own “co-design” intention. It unfortunately marks another failure of the government to hear Indigenous voices. 

And it fails to hear the invitation from the Uluru Statement from the Heart to "walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future".

Read the full article on The Conversation.

Related Information

Proposed Indigenous ‘voice’ will be to government rather than to parliament

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