Discussion paper response

Sarah Cowan
What is your full name?
Sarah Cowan
What is your postal code?
Do you support recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by changing the Constitution or making some other kind of legal change?
What should the change look like?
Inclusion and acknowledgment of their original and ongo custodoanship of the land we live on.
Should we have a statement that acknowledges the First Peoples of Australia?
Yes. This should be in the Constitution.
Where is the best place to put it?
At the very beginning.
What should the statement say?
The first nation people have always and will always be recognised as the ongoing owners of the land. All decisions that may or will affect them must be in accordance with the Indigenous Bill of Rights and be inclusive of their own wishes.
Do you have any other comments on a statement about the First Peoples of Australia?
I think saying 'sorry' is tokenism. I believe there needs to be ongoing recognition of frontier wars, genocide, abuse, the theft of land. Asking forgivness rather than a one-ended 'sorry'.
Should the word 'race' be taken out of the Constitution?
I don't know
Should the Australian Parliament keep the power to make special laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples?
Do you have any other comments on powers to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples?
All decisions must be made by the people they affect.
Do you think that a guarantee against racial discrimination should go into the Constitution?
Do you have any ideas about what words to use for that guarantee, or where in the Constitution to put it?
Although we can make it illegal, we can't make racists stop being what they are. To guarantee would be to make a promise which can't be kept.
Should the guarantee protect all Australians against racial discrimination, or only Indigenous Australians?
All Australians
If there is not enough support for a guarantee in the Constitution, what other things can we do to stop racial discrimination in national laws?
Make laws about the teaching of it in schools.
Do you have any other comments on changing the Constitution to stop racial discrimination?
I don't believe we can change people's mindsets by changing laws.
Do you think Indigenous people should have a say when Parliament and government make laws and policies about Indigenous affairs?
Should a new Indigenous group be set up under the Constitution to give advice and make sure Indigenous people have a voice in political decisions that affect them?
Is it worth creating the new group if it can only give advice and does not have the power to block new laws?
Do you have any ideas about what the new group would look like?
Not really as long as they are Aboriginal people.
Do you have any other comments on this Indigenous group?
It could be voted in by a referendum by indigenous Australians only.
Should we delete section 25?
What would we achieve by getting rid of section 25?
A show of a lack of racism.
Is there any point in keeping it?
There may be many people who are 'Australians' not living here yet able to use their vote in a way that is not beneficial to those who live here. But deciding somebody's 'right' to do anything should not be judged by race.
Do you have any other comments?
Recognition of our first people is essential for the well being of ALL people.
Are you making a submission on behalf of a person (such as yourself) or organisation?