Throughout Australia’s history, past governments have implemented laws and policies that have consistently failed First Nations people, echoing the painful legacy of the Stolen Generation. These policies, characterised by dispossession, forced assimilation, and systemic discrimination, have inflicted immeasurable harm on Indigenous communities and perpetuated a cycle of inequality and marginalisation.
The Stolen Generation represents one of the most devastating chapters in Australian history, where Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their families, communities, and cultural roots. This traumatic experience disrupted kinship bonds, eroded cultural identity, and resulted in profound intergenerational trauma that continues to be felt today. The policies that enabled such atrocities demonstrate the lack of respect for Indigenous rights, culture, and self-determination.
Regrettably, the failures of the past have persisted in subsequent policies and laws, perpetuating disparities in health, education, employment, and social justice. Indigenous voices have often been overlooked or dismissed, leading to a lack of effective consultation and collaboration in decision-making processes that directly impact First Nations people.
To rectify these historical injustices and ensure a more inclusive and equitable future, it is imperative to establish a Voice to Parliament. The Voice to Parliament would provide First Nations people with a formal platform to express their aspirations, concerns, and perspectives, directly influencing legislation, policies, and programs that affect their lives.
A Voice to Parliament would be a permanent body to make representations to the Australian Parliament and the Executive Government on legislation and policy decisions that shape the lives, cultures, lands, and futures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It would further the self-determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, by giving them a greater say on matters that affect them.
It is time to learn from the mistakes of the past, acknowledge the ongoing impacts of historical injustices, and work towards a more inclusive society where the rights and aspirations of First Nations people are recognised, respected, and celebrated. The establishment of a Voice to Parliament is crucial.