In Conversation: Carol Vale on Makarrata

Friday, December 17, 2021


On 4 December the guest speaker at the Creators of Peace Australia Online Speaker Series was Carol Vale, a Dunghutti woman from Armidale NSW. Co-host of the session Tanya Fox writes: 

Carol was raised on an Aboriginal mission in northern NSW and is a mother of four and grandmother of ten. She is the CEO of Murawin Pty Ltd, a national Indigenous Consultancy, an intercultural consultant, a professional facilitator, social researcher, and policy analyst with expertise in Aboriginal issues, public policy, and stakeholder engagement across a range of sectors.  


Carol Vale - Guest Speaker at Creators of Peace Online Speaker Series


In a most gracious, unassuming and humble but impactful manner, Carol spoke of her love of people and country, and the importance of Makarrata. Speaking from her personal cultural knowledge as well as her professional experiences, Carol shared deep insights into the origins, purpose and meaning of Makarrata; a gift of Indigenous trust, to heal and make peace after facing the facts of past wrongs and then live again in peace. ‘Makarrata is about truth telling… it is the rules and guidelines to guide a society to enable truth telling which will lead for change to occur,’ said Carol. 

In detail, (6.25min to 13.11min in the video) Carol took the audience through the steps that led to the Makarrata being officially handed over to the Prime Minister of that time, Malcolm Turnbull in 2017 as an offering from the First Nations People.  

Carol went on to further describe the unique nature of Makaratta (17.00min to 23.00min in the video) and how such a process would benefit society in Australia to right the wrongs of the past. 'You enter into a Makarrata process when an act of wrong has occurred and you know you have to be in it till the end, and when it is done you move on,' said Carol. 

Carol stressed on the importance for all Australians to work together for constitutional change which is one of the callings of the Uluru Statement of the Heart. 'The constitution is the national guiding document and one that we should be proud of, and currently it does not recognize the place of First Nations People and it is time to change it,” emphasised Carol. 

Carol invited each one to do whatever small step they can do, be it creating purposeful ‘yarning circles’ within our family, social and workplace environments, to dispel unconscious bias, and build bridges of understanding within our society. 'We have the power to do something, we can create the momentum… and the time is now to do something about it.'

'If more people understood the graciousness of the Makaratta process that was handed over, it would change minds about what needs to be done to enable it,' concluded Carol. 

Watch the recording of Carol’s talk below.