From one of our readers in Townsville, Queensland, on Gurrumbilbarra and Thul Garrie Waja Country.
National Indigenous Times welcomes letters to the editor. Please send letters to Hannah at editor@nit.com.au.

 

We as ‘First Nation Peoples’ have been waiting for over 200 years for permission, waiting for handouts from a Government who have no intentions of working with or even considering implementing any part of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

We have every right to have a say in how the ‘First Nation Peoples’ should be treated.

We should have a seat at the table without waiting for permission.

We are smart, knowledgeable, educated and have well known Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders within the wider community who are our leaders, who have influenced and encouraged our people to become more than what the wider Australian community sees us as: “typical Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders”.

We should take the power away from the Government and empower ourselves.

This can be done by forming our own Political Party. Let’s Break the Glass.

If Pauline Hanson can do it and have the power over the Government to get her policies enacted, then why can’t we? Can we also have this same power if we are in Government?

Is she, of all people, showing us the way?

We need to take a stand. Let us stand up now and let us stand up for future generations, who are becoming more empowered with every generation.

I feel that waiting for – ‘The Uluru Statement from the Heart released 26 May 2017 by delegates to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Referendum Convention, held near Uluru in Central Australia. The statement calls for a ‘First Nations Voice’ in the Australian Constitution and a ‘Makarrata Commission’ to supervise a process of ‘agreement-making’ and ‘truth-telling’ between government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Statement references the 1967 Referendum which brought about changes to the Constitution of Australia to include Indigenous Australians’.

It’s like waiting yet again for permission from the Government:

  • “Yes, we will look at this Statement”, but already disagree with the interpretation of the Statement.
  • “Yes, we will allow you to have a voice”, when it suits our Policy.

Why not work from the inside, by being a part of the Government and by having a seat at the Government’s table? We would be powerful and be able to use this power to make changes.

We then have the negotiation power on our side.

First Nations Peoples have voiced their opinions via many Nations for over 200 years to past and present Australian Governments without any acknowledgement, but we as First Nation Peoples can have a single voice and we can become one.

Let’s Break the Glass – this could be our way forward.

I am hoping this would become a ‘Chain Mail’ that can be forwarded to as many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as possible.

Thank you for your time and attention regarding the above matter.

 

K Collins

Townsville