Is Australia a nation that believes in democratic processes to resolve our problems?
The foundations of Australia were built on the assumption that human history on this continent began with colonisation. Ever since then our First Nations peoples have been cleared away or eliminated whenever they stood in the way of the colonising forces.
True, many other groups have suffered. The findings of the recent Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability highlighted the motto, "Nothing about us, without us". Just as people living with disability know that their participation is essential to ensure disability policies are safe and effective, so it is with our indigenous peoples.
Those locals, 235 years ago, had their humanity denied and this fault-line remains and is still undermining our society. We see their rates of pain, jail, child removal and early death ranking amongst the worst in the world.
The original peoples have been granted an advisory body several times; but only temporarily because each was abolished upon a Governmental whim.
It is time for the indigenous people to know they can have a say. It is time for them to have a representative body to contribute to solutions, and to share responsibility for them.
It is time to give democracy a fair go; and all of us will all benefit from a Yes vote.
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