Young First Nations leader highlights the importance of the Uluru Statement from the Heart
By Deborah Ruiz Wall
04/03/22: To hear a young First Nations leader talk about mobilising the next generation to determine their own future in Australia, is so inspiring.
Allira Davis, co-chair and manager of Uluru Youth Dialogue was the guest speaker at a Search Foundation webinar on 3rd March. Allira, a Cobble Cobble woman from the Barrungum and Birrigubba nations of South-East Queensland, and also of South Sea Islander descent from Ambae and Tanna islands, eloquently explained why she supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a First Nations Voice to Parliament.
“We have to be the leaders of our future,” she said. Her vision was to see her little brothers and sisters find a place in their country. Persisting high incarceration rates of First Nations people, kids in home care, a huge gap in social conditions compared to other Australians are some of the challenges to overcome.
Allira, Bridget Cama, her co-chair and their team aim to encourage young people from ages 18-30 to join the Uluru Youth Network https://ulurustatement.org/about-us/uluru-youth-network/ in the campaign for a Voice to Parliament. To cater for those under 18, a school support kit is being prepared. Allira believes that the Co-design process, a government initiative (https://voice.niaa.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-12/indigenous-voice-co-design-process-final-report_1.pdf) which endorses a Voice in Parliament by legislation would not be as powerful as a Voice protected by the Constitution.
She argued that past experience shows that legislation could easily be changed. Their group instead wants to drum up support for a Referendum to guarantee permanent change so that First Nations people will have a seat on the table enabled to design policies and legislate on matters that affect them.
But first, they want to educate people to rally for Voice, Treaty, Truth to show that they are “a force to be reckoned with”. The Youth Dialogue aims to involve people from different states and territories in lobbying through writing letters to MPs and using social media like twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tik-Tok, to raise awareness.
The sponsor of the webinar, Search Foundation Voice Treaty Truth Working Group similarly urges people to contact their MPs ahead of the election period to ask them to support the Voice to Parliament. Their letters to MPs, they suggest, should be written in their own words and drawn from their own knowledge and experience.