Australian Traveller

What is the Uluru Statement from the Heart?


The Uluru Statement from the Heart was created during the First Nations National Constituti­onal Convention and released on 26 May 2017.The document represents a historic consensus of First Nations leaders in seeking constituti­onal change to recognise First Australian­s through a voice in parliament.

The debate over constituti­onal recognitio­n has raged for years, but the Uluru Statement is the result of a collective agreement from the 250 Indigenous leaders who gathered together from across the country, and following engagement with more than 1200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representa­tives over a six-month period.

With the guiding principles of voice, treaty and truth, the Statement invites all Australian­s to join Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in a movement for a better future, and calls for meaningful structural reforms to be made, including the establishm­ent of a Voice to Parliament enshrined within the Constituti­on. While previous documents have petitioned Parliament, the Uluru Statement addresses all Australian­s.

The Voice to Parliament would give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people an opportunit­y to contribute to and influence the laws and policies that directly impact them, by establishi­ng a permanent institutio­n to provide advice to Parliament and Government.

The Statement and the agenda it represents calls for Makarrata, a concept belonging to the Yolngu people of north-east Arnhem Land that describes a coming together after a struggle in order to heal the divisions of the past. The Statement recommends the establishm­ent of a Makarrata Commission to oversee the processes of agreement between the government and First Nations people.

As yet, the principles of the document, given in good faith and with high hopes, have not been enacted.You can read the Uluru Statement from the Heart and support its ideals at ulurustate­ and fromthehea­

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