The Regional Voice panel featured members of Empowered Communities (EC), a group of ten regions from across the nation, which formed a decade ago at the very same festival.
“The way we want to be recognised is by having a Voice,” Ms Jose said.
The panels during the Garma Festival are held in the Garrtjambal Auditorium, Credit: Tamati Smith/Getty Images
For Ms Jose, a Voice is an opportunity to get “on with business” and a commitment to the “long-term”.
“We were all trying to fight the same beast, who controls our lives and our communities, and that’s government,” said Ms Jose.
“Relationships and partnerships with government are hard, very hard . . . We’ve been teaching them [consultation], we are so much better at this than government,” Ms Jose said.
However, there remain issues of funding dedications, and the consultation process when it comes to those decisions.
For Mr Garstone, it’s about flipping the notion of the Closing the Gap National Agreement on its head.
“We evaluate the services providers, we evaluate the impact they’re having, and if we continue their funding,” he said.
When it comes to the Voice to Parliament, Mr Garstone believes it to be an opportunity to “get out of the pool of perpetual ugliness” and “move forward as a nation”.
“Our children deserve to see a lens of strength.”
https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/article/regional-representatives-push-for-voice-at-garma/bggvbrcgq Regional representatives push hard for Voice to Parliament at Garma