Sessions a chance for community to have a voice

RAISE YOUR VOICE: Professor Peter Buckskin has been involved with the public consultation sessions. Photo: Supplied
RAISE YOUR VOICE: Professor Peter Buckskin has been involved with the public consultation sessions. Photo: Supplied

Port Augusta has hosted a public consultation session focussed on establishing groups that will give Indigenous people in the regions the ability to voice their issues at a state and federal level.

The Indigenous Voice co-design process has seen consultation sessions hosted across South Australian towns.

Co-design members have been gathering feedback on the proposal for Local and Regional Voices, and a National Voice, with the proposals providing a way for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians to provide advice and input on matters important to improve their lives.

Co-chairperson of the Local and Regional Indigenous Voice co-design group Professor Peter Buckskin said the three Port Augusta sessions were about getting feedback on the discussion paper distributed by the federal government about the model promoted to get views from the community.

"The National Voice will support administration, it won't be delivering programs, but it will be getting views from Aboriginal communities on issues pertinent to them, to try to ensure those issues from a local and regional level have the capacity to reach a state or national level if required," he said.

"An issue of trust between Aboriginal communities and government was a top priority, and sustainability is a big thing.

"The overriding view was the Voice needs to be enshrined in the constitution for that sustainability and it needs to have the capacity to represent local and remote communities."

He said there were about 100 people present between the three Port Augusta sessions, including influential members of the community such as elders.

The next consultation will be hosted in Coober Pedy on Tuesday, May 4 at the Desert Cave Hotel, with sessions from 10.30am to 1pm and 3.30pm to 6pm.

"This is a chance for people to come out, and if they want a voice they need to get behind it," Mr Buckskin said.

"The more people you have, the more we can report to government are interested in having a national voice.

"I encourage people to come out and have their say about it."

People can also have their say at voice.niaa.gov.au.

The interim report, fact sheets, and more information on the Indigenous Voice proposals are also available on the website.