Dr Donna Odegaard AM is a Larrakia woman. She is CEO of First Nations Broadcasting, Australia’s largest fully Indigenous-owned radio, television and production network. Dr Odegaard was awarded an Order of Australia for her input into the protection and preservation of Indigenous cultural heritage, Indigenous broadcasting and media and reconciliation in 2016 and was the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman to receive the Institute of Managers and Leaders Sir John Storey Lifetime Award for Leadership.
Dr Odegaard joins GMan on Big Brekkie to discuss Local, Regional and National consultations taking place here in Victoria regarding “Indigenous Voice”. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are rich in knowledge, passing stories from generation to generation. They hold a unique place in our nation’s story. The next step in this story is to make sure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have more say on the laws and policies that impact their lives. There has been a lot of work already undertaken over the years. From late 2019 a co-design process was set up to look at what can work in Australia. The people working on it are from all over the country. They are mostly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. They used their knowledge and experience, and looked at lots of past work and current arrangements.
The groups have developed proposals for an Indigenous Voice. The Indigenous Voice is a way for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians to share views and be heard. It could have two parts that work together – Local and Regional Voices and the National Voice. Local and Regional Voices could bring communities together at a regional level. They would work in partnership with all levels of government. Arrangements could be flexible so they work for communities everywhere. Communities and governments would be supported to work better in partnership. This way decisions on local issues could happen at the local level. The National Voice could advise the Australian Parliament and Government. It could advise on big issues that are important to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia. It’s important that everyone has an opportunity to have their voice heard, at all levels of government, no matter where you live. The Indigenous Voice is a step forward for our country and would provide lasting change for the future.
We want to hear your views on the proposals and what you think would work best. Visit voice.niaa.gov.au Take part in the feedback survey. Provide a submission on the proposals. Share your views and ideas on social media tagging #IndigenousVoice. Hold a community discussion or go to a stakeholder meeting if it is COVID safe to do so. Share the materials with your family, friends and community.