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Australia Walking away won't bring Indigenous Voice any closer

16:10  01 november  2019
16:10  01 november  2019 Source:   watoday.com.au

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Indigenous Labor Senator Pat Dodson labelled the rejection as a 'kick in the guts' to the Referendum Council. "And certainly a slap in the face to the "Reports of Cabinet leaks this morning suggest that Malcolm Turnbull and his conservative government are walking away from Indigenous recognition

a man reading a book: Pat Anderson from the Referendum Council with a piti holding the Uluru Statement from the Heart.© Alex Ellinghausen Pat Anderson from the Referendum Council with a piti holding the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart has given a sense of hope to many Indigenous people. It states several fundamental values of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and it is addressed to all Australians. Our history encompasses 65,000 years of human society and yet our constitution fails to recognise us.

While the Uluru Statement shows a way forward – with the idea of a “Voice” for Indigenous Australians, the idea of the Makarrarta and the principle of truth-telling – the details of how this could be achieved have not been enunciated.

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  Uluru's owners mark moment with rock stars Anangu people have celebrated with non-indigenous people and rock stars to mark the end of the Uluru climb even if it's an uphill battle to improve their lot. Now that climbing on Uluru is closed, honouring the wishes of its traditional owners, it is time for indigenous people to have a voice to parliament, Midnight Oil singer Peter Garrett says. Anangu people partied alongside non-indigenous people at a celebration on Sunday at which rock stars such as Garrett, Goanna frontman Shane Howard, and local indigenous bands and artists performed.

These wounds won ' t seem to heal This pain is just too real There's just too much that time cannot erase. [Chorus:] When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears And I held your hand through all of these years But you still have All of me.

But Pat Dodson, an Indigenous Senator for Western Australia, is happy that progress is finally be made. "This is something we have to solve if we are going to have honor and integrity as a nation as well as bring about justice and recognition and respect for the First Nations people," said Dodson.

In 2005, ATSIC was abolished, leaving no formal model for Indigenous engagement with government. All government engagement with Indigenous Australia and its policies were “mainstreamed”. That involved eradicating any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander involvement in our own affairs and very deliberately trying to assimilate Indigenous people to a fantasy about modern Australia and the victory of Alfred Deakin’s “Australia for the White Man” vision. It demoralised Indigenous people throughout the country and threw Indigenous-government relations, policies and services into disarray.

Minister wants united indigenous approach

  Minister wants united indigenous approach The minister for indigenous Australians wants a united approach towards constitutional recognition and how a voice to parliament would work. Indigenous Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt wants to achieve political consensus on constitutional recognition and a voice to parliament. Mr Wyatt has asked Labor, One Nation, the Greens and independent politicians to join a new parliamentary working group on indigenous issues.But the group isn't a formal committee and won't have any decision-making powers.It won't report to the House of Representatives or the Senate.

The Indigenous Voice is only the platform to help Indigenous Peoples get their voices heard so as to support uphold their human rights, safeguard indigenous knowledge and promote diversity and peaceful coexistence.

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The disaster that ensued led to the policy of Closing the Gap to deal with the worsening outcomes. And that too has failed. The worst failure was the re-design of the conventional funding arrangements into the Indigenous Advancement Strategy in 2014. It diverted funding away from a quarter of our frontline organisations to non-Indigenous NGOs with no capacity to engage or deliver to Indigenous Australia. The outcomes have been slammed by everyone paying attention. Our population is approaching 1 million and, with the geographic spread and distance of many in our communities from the main centres of administration and services, without a much more targeted approach to ensuring Indigenous wellbeing, the outcome can only be a continuing disaster.

The lack of a formal means of having a say in our affairs has caused many policy failures and the slow progress in closing the gaps in the levels of disadvantage in the Indigenous population can be largely attributed to this lack of representation of Indigenous people in shaping the policies that affect our life chances in very direct ways – in all the social determinants of our wellbeing – such as education, employment, housing, justice, and the survival of our cultures and languages, to list just a few. None of the seven targets of the Closing the Gap strategy will be met in the timeframes proposed. Ministers for Indigenous affairs have come and gone and while small steps have been made to better Indigenous lives, the failures are too many to mention. Every Australian – whether Indigenous or not – has a right to feel outrage about this state of affairs.

Scott Morrison's leadership goes missing at Uluru

  Scott Morrison's leadership goes missing at Uluru Analysis: Leadership is about taking opportunities or creating them yourself. The Prime Minister failed at both when he stayed away from Uluru during the last few days.Leadership is about taking opportunities or creating them yourself. Prime Minister Scott Morrison declined both when he stayed away from Uluru during the last few momentous days.

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Walking Away Lyrics. [Verse 1] You don' t wanna talk, don' t wanna work it out If you were gonna face it, you would've by now When were you around, when were the times it got away from us Away , I'm not gonna wait Nothing you can say that'll make me rethink Every chance that we had and messed up All

Since then, the issue of the constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians has been investigated and talked about in the hope that a secure and sustainable platform for including Indigenous people in the nation’s affairs can be established. Ken Wyatt, the first Aboriginal person in Australian history to be appointed to a federal ministry, has taken an a very large stride into the political quagmire of the constitutional reform movement to secure an outcome from more than 10 years of inquiries and recommendations.

Along with Professor Tom Calma, former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner, I have agreed to chair the Senior Advisory Group of the co-design of the Indigenous Voice to find a way to achieve the aspirations of Indigenous people to have a say in government decisions that affect our lives. Too many Indigenous lives have been cut short by the impact of failed government policies, and there are few who would disagree that it is time to bring a halt to this dreadful state of affairs.

The purpose of the process that Ken Wyatt has announced is to “develop models to enhance local and regional decision making and provide a voice for Indigenous Australians to government”. Our role is to advise the minister and to listen to Indigenous Australians about their aspirations about options for a model that will ensure that Indigenous Australians are heard at all levels of government – local, state and federal. We will also receive submissions from governments, non-government entities and the public.

Labor offers indigenous process support

  Labor offers indigenous process support Labor's indigenous affairs spokeswoman Linda Burney has welcomed a new co-design process for an indigenous voice but says it must be ambitious. Labor says it will work with the Morrison government on designing a new indigenous "voice" to governments, but stands by its policy to have it enshrined in the constitution.Indigenous affairs minister Ken Wyatt announced Tom Calma and Marcia Langton as the two indigenous leaders who would spearhead the co-design process, working with up to 20 others in a senior advisory group. require(["inlineoutstreamAd", "c.

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The next 12 months will consist of two stages to develop and refine models. In the first stage, two groups will be formed – the local and regional co-design group and a national co-design group to develop models to improve local, regional and national decision-making in Indigenous affairs. In stage two, the members of these groups will engage with Indigenous leaders, communities and stakeholders across the country to refine the proposed models.

The elephant in the room is the Prime Minister and this government's present stance on a referendum on the “Voice” proposition set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, meaning to constitutionally enshrine a “voice”.

The minister has to balance the wishes and views of a broad range of Australians with the political realities of delivering achievable change.

Tom Calma and I have issued a statement saying that while we support the Uluru Statement from the Heart and constitutional reform to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a Voice in Parliament, how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people wish to be represented to all levels of government will be considered in this process.

My view is that we are already contending with a messy, incoherent ecosystem of Indigenous representative mechanisms across the country. There are more than 3,500 Indigenous corporations, many of which provide the governance and services to our people that the three tiers of government refuse to provide or are incapable of providing. The people who – many voluntarily – work in these corporations struggle to get a government official on the phone. There is constant and ultimately ineffective competition among all the agencies – both Indigenous and non Indigenous – for ever-shrinking government funds for essential services. No one who understands the nature of this could say that they are satisfied with this state of affairs. The failure to replace ATSIC in the last 14 years has led to a policy crisis and a life-threatening disaster that is typified by the lack of basic infrastructure in far too many places. Overcrowding in houses, no safe drinking water, insufficient health services and other failures are the most visible indications of this disaster.

This is our best chance to deliver the promise of an Indigenous Voice

  This is our best chance to deliver the promise of an Indigenous Voice A Liberal senator writes that all voices can now be heard to ensure Indigenous Australians have a say in the decisions that affect them.In my first speech to Parliament, I argued Australia should finally deliver constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians. I said: “I would walk with Indigenous Australians on this journey.” A key element of this is the development of an Indigenous voice to government.

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The Uluru Statement from the Heart is highly significant as we consider the problem of involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the government-supported efforts to deal with this crisis and close the gap on our disadvantages. Its great significance for me is its ability – if it comes to fruition with a referendum – to give meaning and truth to the idea of our nation as including us. Without meaningful constitutional recognition Australia remains trapped in Deakin’s idea of “Australia for the White Man”. This idea is deeply ingrained in Australian life and we see it played out in most encounters between government officials and Indigenous people. It underlies the life-threatening disadvantages we face.

The dismissal of the process that Tom and I will chair from many who support the Uluru Statement from the Heart is disappointing. It shows, above all, a naivety about dealing with governments and the complexity of Indigenous engagements with the three layers of government. Federal governments come and go on average every three years and the names and words in the Indigenous policies change even more frequently.

If we hope to achieve agreement to a referendum on the “Voice”, dismissing this process will not achieve that goal. The details of the “Voice” it supporters propose must be part of the consideration of this process so that this government or any future government can confidently formulate a referendum question to be put to the Australian voters. But this is one singular and significant challenge among many. The importance of the Uluru proposal should not push all other matters off the table for consideration.

I hope there will be robust engagement with this process. Our best minds are needed to unravel this unholy mess for our future generations.

Professor Marcia Langton is the foundation chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne.

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