STATEMENT

During the 2019 election campaign, one of the resounding messages that I kept hearing from many of you around Indi was the country’s need for a clear pathway for reconciliation with our First Nations people.

Because this feedback to me was so strong, I accepted a position on a working group established by Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt to support a Voice to Parliament for Indigenous people. I believe this is a positive step towards reconciliation that we all seek.

The key aim of an Indigenous Voice is to make sure the ideas and views of Indigenous Australians are heard in the development of policy and decision-making that affect them.

Yesterday, in Wodonga, representatives from Indi and Border Indigenous groups, Elders, businesses and reconciliation action plan organisations heard about the Indigenous Voice process from Professor Marcia Langton AM, co-chair of the national Senior Advisory Group for an Indigenous Voice.

“I think everyone’s thinking ‘Let’s just get this done’,” Professor Langton told the 95 participants at The Cube about the Local and Regional Voices and National Voice proposals.

There was a powerful and keenly attentive turnout from communities on both sides of the Murray River, and I was delighted to see Wodonga Senior Secondary College students at the workshop, too, led by college captain Ashton Brown.

I encourage everyone to explore the Voice process and make a submission so, as a country, we can bring these Voices to the heart of our decision-making.

PHOTO: Wodonga Senior Secondary College student Oliver Cotten (second from left) and college captain Ashton Brown (third from right) were accompanied by teachers Brooke Pearce and Matt Moylan at the Indi Indigenous Voice Workshop in Wodonga, where they heard and met Indigenous Voice Senior Advisory Group co-chair Professor Marcia Langton AM.

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