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Ngarrindjeri have their say about state Voice to Parliament
A handful of the Murraylands' traditional owners have offered their thoughts about implementing the Uluru Statement in South Australia.
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The Murraylands’ traditional owners are finding their voice – again.
South Australia’s Commissioner for a First Nations Voice, Dale Agius, visited Murray Bridge last Tuesday to hear what Ngarrindjeri people had to say about state plans for a Voice to Parliament.
The new organisation would be a state-based version of the national Voice to Parliament proposed in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
It would advise the state parliament on matters relating to Aboriginal people.
That was great, those present at Tuesday’s meeting said – but Ngarrindjeri had heard those promises before.
“We’ve already done all this,” Aunty Ellen Trevorrow said.
“Then the government changes and it goes on the back burner.
“We’re all forever picking up the pieces … we’ve lost a lot of elders that were part of all this.
“But we’ve got to keep going.”
Moorundi health service CEO Steven Sumner suggested that the Voice would need to be given real power.
“We don’t need another consultative process,” he said.
“It needs to be a decision-maker, not a consultation to the decision-makers.”
Only about 10 Ngarrindjeri people, plus a few others, showed up for Tuesday’s public meeting.
Those present spent about two hours talking about how the state Voice should be structured.
Mr Agius asked Murray Bridge News not to report on the details of the discussion, so as not to influence future discussions in other parts of the state.
Feedback from last week’s workshop will shape legislation which will be drafted later this year or early next year.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people around the state will then be given another opportunity to have their say.
More information about the Commissioner for a First Nations Voice: www.agd.sa.gov.au.
More information about the Uluru Statement from the Heart: ulurustatement.org.
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