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Dilipuma Dhamarrandji, a tribal Aboriginal woman from Elcho Island in North East Arnhem Land delivers her conclusion.

English is not our first language and we live very traditional lives in a modern world.

We already have Aboriginal people elected to Parliament to represent us… but they don’t.

Federal funding allocated to people like me doesn’t reach us. We never see a politician until election time, they come with promises and lies, get our vote then disappear.

The Voice is being pushed by black elites for their agenda, these black elites don’t live like I do and my people. In over-crowded homes; minimum 10 people max 30 people in a 3 bedroom house. Chronic illnesses, poverty, unemployment, low education rates, suicide, mental health, child removals, youth crime, general crime and deaths on a daily basis. I lost 13 members of my family in one year, that’s an average of one death a month.

I know these black elites are selling the Voice as something good for us remote and isolated Aboriginal people who live the life they don’t. But it will do nothing for us; it will give these black elites more power to abuse.

We are out of mind and out of sight. We are ignored on a daily basis, We need action on the ground, given to grass roots people like myself and we need money to run programs that we know will work for our people in our regions. It is not a one size fits all when it comes to Aboriginal issues. Aboriginal dysfunction is a billion-dollar industry created by successive Governments; policy failure over the generations. We are all Australians and protected by the same Constitution. These black elites are using us remote Aboriginal people as bait for their own personal and political gain.

I have been an advocate for Aboriginal people since I was a child, marching with my mother, working in services that are supposed to help my people, so why would I not support a Voice to Parliament if I believe it would benefit my people? Because it’s a hidden agenda under the disguise of Aboriginal empowerment.

They can do what they are saying they will do without a Voice to Parliament and changing the Constitution. This is a dangerous move, we must protect the Australian Constitution with all our might, we cannot allow these people to use emotional blackmail and guilt to secure their abuse of power forever. Remember once they are in, that is it.

We already have a National Indigenous Australian Agency aka NIAA. Their office is next to the Marthakal Motel, in Galiwin’ku, which is abandoned and has no representation or people working there. The Morrison Government created it and the 22/23 budget is $4.4 billion dollars. I have not seen one NIAA employee in Galiwinku, which has an office for them, during the whole of 2022 and this year. Imagine if a Voice is created with constitutional rights?

 Dilipuma is a premium Aboriginal interpreter, has worked for nine government departments over two decades, has senior status as a cultural authority, speaks two Aboriginal languages as well as English, and has a working knowledge of other Aboriginal languages, as well as an unusual grasp of the globalisation phenomenon.

republished with permission. 


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