In 2017, Indigenous people gathered at this continent's heart Uluru to develop what is now known as The Uluru Statement from the Heart. Such a getting together from so many nations to clearly articulate a singular unity of purpose when it comes to our constitution and our national relationship to history ... it was mind blowing to me at the time. Imagine a collective of Indigenous peoples from the Europa continent doing the same thing, on the same day, with the same sentiment.
They know they stand on the shoulders of giants.The Pallawah of Van Diemen's Land petitioned to the Crown in the 1830s that their treaty pleas had been ignored, and the letters from Corranderk, calling for a treaty and a voice in parliament, the Burunga Statement, the call for National Day of Mourning on the 26th of January, 1934, William Cooper et al. It goes on and on.
Anyway, after the statement being originally rejected by our then Prime Minister and kicked to the side by other ministers, who misunderstood the statement enough to say it would mean a third tranche of parliament (not true btw and some of those MPs have since apologised for 'not getting it'), the Uluru Statement is gaining traction again as a fair and true campaign for Voice Treaty and Truth.
Out of the many British colonies, Australia was never ceded to British ownership by its people. There was also never a treaty. The Uluru Statement seeks to cut through that history in really practical ways: We need a makkarata, which is a reckoning and truth telling about our history. We need an Indigenous voice to parliament and this voice has to be enshrined within our constitution, so that any Indigenous advisory mob cannot be kicked out when the government changes hands or ideologies, which has happened in the past.
These statements are the voice from our country's oldest people. Their requests are simple and a profoundly generous solution to our way forward as a nation.
Here are some explainers on why the Uluru Statement is momentous. The first one is from Dean Parkin:
And the second one is the statement itself:
Finally, if any folk want to voice their support, please visit this spot where it is all happening and you can jump on board.