I am one of more than 56,000 Australian Christians that are part of the Common Grace movement. We are passionate about Jesus and justice. I will vote for a candidate who shows #CommonGrace. I am specifically concerned for justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
As Christians, we believe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are, and always have been created in the image of the Creator. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have an ancient and important God-appointed role as custodians in these lands now called Australia. For too long this nation of Australia has not listened to, and not sought justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We are tired of waiting for a Treaty and treaties over 250 years overdue, we grieve the lives lost due to lack of action and investment to Close the Gap and implement recommendations to stop Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. We lament the suffering of children locked up as Australia fails to adhere to international and human rights obligations to #RaiseTheAge of criminal responsibility. We fight for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be embraced as the world’s oldest living continuing cultures. How will Australia repent of its sins of Stolen Land, Stolen Wages, and Stolen Lives? How will our nation embrace the world’s oldest living continuing cultures? How will Australia wake up to the fact that for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples this is not the land of the “fair go”?
How will you support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in their long standing calls for justice?
With all of this in mind could you please specifically answer the following questions:
1. How will you support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the long standing calls for a National Truth Telling Commission, Treaty and Treaties, and a Voice in and to Parliament?
2. The first closing the gap targets were established almost 15 years ago and Australia has failed to Close the Gap. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples continue to die too young, and too often, and face overrepresentation in the prison system. How will you ensure Australia actively works, and sufficiently funds, the responsibility, to Close the Gap?
3. Over the past decade, the already high suicide rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have further increased by 20–24%. What steps will you take to addressing the national emergency of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide?
4. Climate change is impacting the lands and waters of Australia and having real and tangible impacts on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities due to factors like rising sea levels, changes in wet and dry seasons, drought, bushfires and dry rivers. How will you protect our environment and tackle the real effects of climate change as it affects Australia’s lands and waters and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples?
5. We have been waiting as a nation since 1991 for the 339 recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody to be implemented. Since this Royal Commission there have been 500 Aboriginal deaths in custody. Responding to this crisis and implementing these recommendations requires cooperation between Federal, State and Territory governments. How will you actively work towards implementing the long standing recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody so that Aboriginal peoples stop dying in custody?
6. Currently children as young as 10 can be held criminally responsible in Australia. This is out of line with international jurisdictions, in breach of our human rights obligations and disproportionately affects Indigenous children, who are 17 times more likely to enter the criminal justice system compared to non-Indigenous children. How will you urgently act to #RaiseTheAge of criminal responsibility in Australia to at least 14 years old?
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