The theme for National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day 2021 is Proud in culture, strong in spirit.
As Australia’s leading child rights organisation, Save the Children celebrates this theme and urges the Australian Government to hear the voice of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
Save the Children Australia CEO, Paul Ronalds said that children’s voices, priorities and needs must be at the centre of all decisions that affect them including in the nation’s parliament.
“We believe that upholding all children’s rights is at the heart of ensuring their wellbeing and development,” said Mr Ronalds.
“We recognise the particular significance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s right to maintain their connection to culture, Country and community.”
“We recognise the foundational importance of the right to self-determination, which is a collective right held by all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
“Save the Children supports the call for the Voice to Parliament to be enshrined in our Constitution. To only legislate the Voice will fail to answer the invitation of the Uluru Statement and fail to meet the expectations of all who have endorsed it, including Save the Children.”
Practice Development Manager, Mena Waller said Save the Children aims to respectfully support and elevate the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities, with a special focus on the rights and voices of children.
“The values and traditions that shape Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and identity have been passed down from our ancestors and are carried forward by our children, who continue to live and celebrate their rich heritage,” said Ms Waller.
“A Voice to Parliament that reflects the voices of children and supports their connection to culture would recognise and affirm this heritage.”
Save the Children proudly adds our support to calls for a constitutionally enshrined National Voice to Parliament that is reflective of the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, in a manner consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and as called for by the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
Read Save the Children’s full submission to the Indigenous Voice Discussion Paper here.