A call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution
The Australian nation’s relationship with its First Nations people continues to be fraught … with many issues of justice and reparation remaining largely unresolved. Until there has been proper acknowledgement, truth-telling and reconciliation for historical wrongdoings it could be argued that Australia will not have properly self actualised as a nation united … “One and Free”.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart was released on 26 May 2017 by delegates to the First Nations National Constitutional Convention, held over four days near Uluru in Central Australia. The Convention was held after the 16 member Referendum Council, appointed in 2015, had travelled around the country and met with over 1,200 people.
The statement was issued after the Convention, and calls for a "First Nations Voice" in the Australian Constitution and a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of "agreement-making" and truth-telling between the Australian Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. (Makarrata is a Yolngu word approximating the meaning of "treaty”.)
The statement references the 1967 referendum, which (after passing) brought about changes to the Constitution of Australia to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in population counts, and gave the Federal Government the power to make laws for Indigenous Australians in the States.
The artwork encircling the statement tells two Tjukurpa creation stories of the traditional owners of Uluru, the Aṉangu people.
Although not yet universally embraced, support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart has continued to grow since 2017.
The Uluru Statement was awarded the 2021 Sydney Peace Prize.
For more information about the statement, and a good summary of the historical context, check out this video from Blackfella Films.
See also “Finding the Heart of the Nation, The Journey of the Uluru Statement towards Voice, Treaty and Truth” by Thomas Mayor via Hardie Grant Publishing.
Wikipedia Reference: Uluru Statement from the Heart | (Text) CC BY-SA
1. Image Credit: ulurustatement.org
2 & 3. Uluru Statement from the Heart. Image Credit: ulurustatement.org
4. Denise Bowden, Yothu Yindi CEO signing the Uluru Statement
5. Credit: Blackfella Films
6. The Uluru Statement from the Heart. Photo Credit: Clive Skollay
7 to 11. Credit: Blackfella Films
12. Finding the Heart of a Nation. Order via Hardie Grant Publishing
Thanks for sharing this, Rem. The Statement is beautifully written and such a generous invitation.