THE PROPOSED INDIGENOUS VOICE
Indeed, the overwhelming need is to recognise full blood aboriginals as the descendants of Australia’s first people. This is a given but it does not entail land ownership in any way shape or form albeit it does signify the cultural beginnings of Australia as indigenous and cements the dignity rightfully due to that culture as first custodians of our great country. Indeed, recognition does not pre-empt any drive for ‘indigenous’ based advantage, as that would be racist and against the law, and does not signify a disproportionate say in our government other than the same say we all have as individuals at elections for all levels of government. This is enshrined in our constitution as law.
Australia already has a voice and it’s called PARLIAMENT wherein a whole gaggle of democratically elected people’s representatives fend for their constituents interests on a daily basis. White, black, pink, short, tall, female, male, kid or any other living thing can and should have a say in their future.
voice’, as it’s portrayed, will only obfuscate true needs because it’s
inherently racist, is based on personal ‘power / land mad’ agendas, cannot
achieve primary goals, usurps parliament’s role as ‘Australia’s existing voice
from elected representatives’ , is insulting to more than 96% of Australians
and is inherently divisive to our ‘we are one’ community.
We live in the best country in the world as Australians enjoying a system of proportional representative government which democratically enshrines each individual as equal under the law and protected within the auspices of the state.
Racism, which in today’s society, roughly defines as ‘treating one group differently because of their race’ is in breach of that law and is utterly stupid. Indeed, ‘race’ is one of those overused words trotted out by people with a personal agenda to label anything they see as an opportunity to pontificate on and obfuscate therein unfortunately proving a palpable brain – mouth disconnect. Trouble is when enough of these brain dead people, latch onto the tide of misinformation and loudly repeat that misinformation time and time again then the truth is subjugated by volume.
The key here is in understanding that each individual has a right to free speech, respect and to have a say in their future without fear or prejudice. Secondly it means that each individual has a right and a ‘voice’ to vote for their choice of politician as their representative, one that aligns with their views. One can hope for proportional representation but there are no guarantees as we have a majority rules democracy and it’s good! It’s hard but the alternative is anarchy or despot driven tyranny or even socialism. No thanks!.
parliament, one law, one democracy, one system of government, one people. We are one!!
Critically, humans do not actually ‘own’ anything because we are finite and will shuffle on some day. This is not socialism but reality. We are mere custodians of this planet whilst we live, then it’s someone else’s turn. Indeed, there can be no ‘traditional’ owners because none of us actually own anything. In this context Australia was never aboriginal and never will be just as Australia was never white and never will be. Why, because we all share the land in the present as individuals for too short a time. We are all custodians.
However, we do all live under the one umbrella with different views, ideals, hopes and futures so it’s critical we respect everyone and their beliefs even if disparate from our own. The only exception being if one person causes harm to another because of their differing views. But this is in breach of the law anyway and everyone is protected. For example, I respect the person who believes in ‘dreamtime’ even though my view on reality is quite different. Happy to discuss the differences at length but always with respect. for the person - but not always their beliefs. Who knows, they may be right?
In this context, the new ‘indigenous voice’ usurps parliament as our already freely elected Australian ‘voice’ which already has a 4.8% indigenous representation [for 3.2% of the population] and it destroys our non-racist focus on the individual and it applies another level of mandatory consultation to each and every decision before parliament and it cements the rights of just 3.2% of people to have a say over and above everyone else and over and above every other voting Australian. This is undemocratic and racist.
Even suggesting another ‘voice’ is deeply insulting to the circa 11 federal parliamentarians who currently represent indigenous peoples because they are obviously seen as useless by ‘the voice’. I was also led to believe there are about 700 indigenous nations with each having the right to partake in the voice. That’s 1400 non-expert people [both genders] paid out of the public purse all wanting their say on each and every issue from massive land claims to train timetables to nuclear power stations to cashless debit cards. This is insane.
Indeed, and as an observation, after MABO there were apparently some 37,000 land claims by indigenous peoples in NSW alone with claims to circa 40% of Australia because these people saw themselves as owners of land because some ancestor once squatted thereon. Indeed, the term ‘traditional owner’ is an obfuscating furphy designed to ‘sell the vibe’ rather than deal with reality. It’s a bit like Russia invading Ukraine because Putin believed Russia was and is the ‘traditional owner’ and Ukraine was and will always be part of his now 30 year defunct USSR.
In our case our indigenous peoples want, need and must get recognition as ‘first peoples’ albeit within the context of ‘we are one’. It must be very mentally draining and dysfunctional to be haunted by the erroneous belief that there is no difference between claiming land through just squatting on that land Vs toiling to secure rights to the land. As an example, does America own the moon as traditional owners because they were first there? No. As a matter of fact, Neil Armstrong’s [the American astronaut] words in 1969 were ‘one giant leap for mankind’ which was inclusive of all peoples. Indeed we, as a human race, were all included and for those of us who watched it live on TV we believed and knew and felt that we were a part of that marvellous event and unfolding history. No one owns the moon yet we are all owners, courtesy of Armstrong’s words, of the toil and sacrifice of that history. Wow!!
So, what to do?
‘Recognition’ is important to indigenous peoples as the first inhabitants and therefore it is important for all Australians to respect and honour that history as we all do with the aforementioned moon landing.. This is a no brainer but that recognition must not confer any rights or privileges which are undemocratic or racist. The proposed ‘new voice’ is both undemocratic and racist and will not provide the recognition required. It will just usurp parliament which is all peoples current ‘voice’ and possibly unlawful.
A new ‘recognition’ line in the constitution could be something like “The original settlers and custodians of our island nation were aboriginal peoples migrating from ‘Africa’ some thousands of years ago and have continually contributed as part of Australia’s evolving population history inexorably leading to the rich tapestry of our truly ‘we are one multi-cultural and democratic society’ that our island nation has become”. This is recognition without perceived consequences. ‘Dignity’ is the key concept because it encompasses both honour and respect.
That’s basic recognition for indigenous people but what of reality? I know it’s rather trite but treating all people with honour and respect whilst living and breathing the mantra ‘we are one’ is the absolute minimum requirement. How good would it be if we recognised that it’s all about ‘Individuals with different beliefs creating our collective future ‘as one’ because we are all Australian’. Simple. But it’s important that support for those struggling with life remains in the context of ‘we are one’ with each person having rights and indeed responsibilities for their own future.
‘The new Voice’ will not achieve those aims because it obviates ‘we are one’ and it doesn’t address the first and most critical strategic issue. Education.
A lifetime of learning leading to a pathway
of self actualisation [Maslow 1954 - his hierarchy of needs is just as relevant
today as it was 70 years ago and applies to all people]. Indeed, there is no future for anyone without
education!!! The greatest change agent of all
time is knowledge and how to apply that knowledge to the world we live in. Education is the absolute key where
people can learn and aspire to personal goals lifting themselves out of despair
and poverty - albeit with help. That ‘help’ could be support with basic living
BUT in return for continuing education.
This is generational change – not instant. Recognition and pathways – wow.
Unfortunately for some, behaviours are entrenched and for some indifference prevails but others are champing at the bit to excel. This last group is the key to change and may take a generation to implement but this group must be given every opportunity to prevail and lead their charges into the future. Not tinkering with useless minor block thinking interventions but a full blown assault on future creation with a long term strategic jigsaw educational focus. Support but in the right ‘change’ areas.
For our indigenous mob, this is a job for our current 11 federal indigenous representing parliamentarians [the current Australian voice] to make happen. Exercise our existing parliamentary ‘voice’ and spend a few million to create concrete and lit pathways where change is education based. You can’t change everyone but Australia can support those individuals who want to create a shared future. They in turn will create their own informed change from inside the mob.
Use Australia’s existing parliamentary ‘voice’ to actually do something concrete. Brain disconnected political block thinking with unending mouth-flubber is easy but destructive. Jigsaw or strategic thinking is hard but leads to a planned future. Start with recognition and a strategic vision which is clearly communicated and actioned through and by our existing voice – parliament!
the change we need, not yet another voice.