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3 June, 2022

Voters back Labor at the polls on committment to Uluru Statement

If you watched prime minister elect Anthony Albanese's speech on election night, you would have heard in his first sentence "on behalf of the Australian Labor Party, I commit to the ‘Uluru Statement from the Heart’ in full".

By Emily Middleton

The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a calling for the establishment of a First Nations voice in the Constitution, as well as a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making and truth-telling about First Nations history.

So what does this mean?

The new leader of the country has said he wants a referendum in this term of government to change the constitution to "create a permanent Indigenous advisory body to the federal parliament”.

“History is calling, and the Australian people are ready to answer,” said professor Megan Davis, co-chair of the Uluru Dialogue.

“The stars are aligning, and the Australian people are ready to make his- tory.

“This is nation-building. We are confident that under the leadership of prime minister Albanese, we will see a constitutionally enshrined voice, then treaty, then truth, as set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

“We look forward to working along- side the new federal government in implementing the statement. We’re ready to go to work.”

In May 2017, over 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates gathered in Mutitjulu, next to Uluru, and put their signatures on the 'Uluru Statement From The Heart'. The statement was addressed to the Australian people, with the proposal of key reforms.
The statement says;

"Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign nations of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and possessed it under our own laws and customs.

“This our ancestors did, according to the reckoning of our culture, from the Creation, according to the common law from ‘time immemorial’, and according to science more than 60,000 years ago.

"With substantive constitutional change and structural reform, we believe this ancient sovereignty can shine through as a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood.

"We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country.

“When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish.

“They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.”

If both houses of parliament are in support, Australian voters will also go to the first referendum since 1999, which was a referendum on whether we should cut ties with the monarchy to become a republic. 

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