” Though some say progress is slow in today’s hurried world, we must remember that lasting change takes time. This is an important process and we need to take the time to get it right or we risk losing the opportunity that has been presented to us. This is too important.
The fight for rights over the past few decades will be an inspiration. We will honour the fight of our elders, past and present, in the work that we do and we will encourage our youth to share their vision for the future to ensure their voice is heard.
Securing a future voice for our children, and their children, that presents the same opportunities and expectations as their non-indigenous counterparts will be our purpose. Let’s not wait another 10 years or 100 years. Let’s continue this now.
Help us, engage with us — and let’s create this future together.”
Marcia Langton and Tom Calma are co-chairs of the senior advisory group to co-design the Indigenous voice to government. See full editorial Part 1 below.
“As I travel to communities around the country, Indigenous Australians are saying to me they just want to be heard and involved in decision-making for their communities.
They want to know who will listen to their ideas and be in a position to do something about them.”
Following advice from the Senior Advisory Group, I have appointed members bringing a diverse range of skills and experience to identify the best approaches to affecting change on the ground for Indigenous Australians.
Professor Buckskin has served as a member of the Senior Advisory Group since its formation, and has now accepted this new appointment as a co-chair of the Local & Regional Co-design Group.
Professor Buckskin will bring his wealth of experience in the education and public service sectors, as well as his extensive involvement in senior positions at a wide range of Indigenous community organisations, to his new role.
A local and regional voice will empower Indigenous Australians and communities by establishing a framework and guiding principles for models and options that lead to improved and enhanced decision-making, and link through to the national Indigenous voice.
Working in genuine partnership will improve shared decision making, and ensure shared responsibility and shared accountability for the development and delivery of government programmes at a local and regional level.
There will be opportunities for everyone to engage throughout the process and I encourage all Australians to get behind this important work.”
Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP has today appointed the members that will make up the Local & Regional Co-design Group that will develop options for local and regional voices.
Download Minister Wyatt Full Press Release
More information about the Indigenous voice co-design process is available on the National Indigenous Australians Agency website, www.niaa.gov.au/indigenous-voice.
The full membership of the new Local & Regional Co-Design Group is:
- Professor Peter Buckskin PSM (Co-chair)
- Cr Ross Andrews
- Ms Ruth Davys
- Ms Triscilla Holborow
- Mr Paul House
- Mr Chris Ingrey
- Mr Des Jones
- Ms Fiona Jose
- Cr Getano Lui Jr AM
- Mr Albert McNamara
- Mr Wayne Miller
- Ms Karen Milward
- Ms Lavene Ngatokorua
- Ms Vicki O’Donnell
- Dr Aden Ridgeway
- Ms Marion Scrymgour
Part 1 The Indigenous voice co-design process will move into high gear with the announcement of the membership of the national and local and regional co-design groups.
The groups will be co-chaired by senior indigenous leaders Donna Odegaard and Peter Buckskin, respectively, supported by a government co-chair from the National Indigenous Australians Agency.
We are under no illusions. This will be hard work, and the process is likely to ruffle feathers and challenge old ways of thinking. But we must effect real and permanent change for our people or this will be an opportunity lost.
We have an opportunity to design our future. We are at the table with the Australian government. Make no mistake, this is a step forwards — and we encourage you to embrace this and engage with us.
There has been, and will continue to be, distractions that try to disrupt our course — some welcome, others unnecessary, inflammatory and determined to set us backwards.
We will persevere. We will not allow people to question our culture and resolve. We have overcome all adversity on this continent for more than 60,000 years. It is an unforgiving land, but our country has ingrained strength and resilience in us all.
There are close to 800,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices in this country today, and this will grow towards one million in the coming years.
Diversity is another of our strengths. Our lived experiences will be key to designing systems that work for us.
There are numerous representative bodies and structures already in place, and each of these will be critical to this process. We also know that states and territories have existing processes in place. Their integrity will not be undermined.
Our role on the senior advisory group is to work through the co-design groups; hear, consider and record Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s aspirations for models; and advise the minister to ensure that views are heard by government.
Throughout the process, we will continue to build understanding both across indigenous communities and with non-indigenous Australians.
We will support the work of the national and local and regional co-design groups, provide advice and input at key points, and ensure the process continues to move forward.
The focus of the national group is to develop options and models for a national voice. It will work in partnership with the local and regional group at key points, to ensure that options for a national voice can be informed by, and connect with, local elements of a voice.
In turn, the local and regional group will focus on local and regional models of decision-making and governance, including options to enhance this and highlight what’s already working. This will include considering how existing arrangements and structures feed into local and regional elements of a voice.
Later in the year, we will be consulting on these models and options across the nation, ensuring they work for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the diversity of contexts and circumstances we find ourselves in today. Everyone will have an opportunity to have a say through this process. We will work with indigenous leaders, communities and stakeholders across the country to refine models.
The groups have a lot of country to cover, and the weight of expectation of 800,000 people is significant. But we will remain focused on the opportunity before us.
The full membership of the National Co-Design Group is:
- Dr Donna Odegaard AM
- Mr Jamie Lowe
- Mr Rodney Dillon
- Prof Gracelyn Smallwood AM
- Mr Richard Weston
- Prof Cheryl Kickett-Tucker
- Ms Katrina Fanning PSM
- The Hon Jeff Kennett AC
- Mr Damian Griffis
- Mr Steve Wanta Patrick Jampijinpa
- Ms Fiona McLeod SC
- Mr Marcus Stewart
- Ms Kristal Kinsela-Christie
- The Hon Fred Chaney AO
- Mr Joseph Elu AO
- Ms Zell Dodd
Senior Advisory Group members
- Professor Tom Calma AO
- Professor Dr Marcia Langton AM
- Professor Fr Frank Brennan SJ AO
- Professor Peter Buckskin PSM
- Ms Josephine Cashman (suspended )
- Ms Marcia Ella-Duncan OAM
- Ms Joanne Farrell
- Mr Mick Gooda
- Mr Chris Kenny
- Cr Vonda Malone
- Ms June Oscar AO
- Ms Alison Page
- Mr Noel Pearson
- Mr Benson Saulo
- Ms Pat Turner AM
- Professor Maggie Walter
- Mr Tony Wurramarrba
- Mr Peter Yu
- Dr Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM
Minister Wyatt media release 8 November 2019 – Voice Co-Design Senior Advisory Grou