Supporting the Uluru Statement from the Heart

Uluru Statement. Copyright © The University of Melbourne 1994 - 2017.

Supporting the Uluru Statement from the Heart

Indigenous Voices, Treaty and Truth-telling

Sunday, January 12, 2020


This year, 2020, will mark three years since the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The Statement is a consensus document issued on 26 May, 2017, by a national Indigenous convention attended by 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates. The convention was the culmination of a nation-wide process of regional dialogues. 


The Uluru Statement calls for two main outcomes: establishing a ‘First Nations Voice’ under the Australian Constitution; and establishing a Makarrata Commission that would undertake a process of agreement-making and truth-telling about Australia’s past. 

The IofC Australia network has been meeting with Aboriginal friends and community leaders to find out how we can best support the calls for “voice, Treaty, and truth.” 

This is a compilation of resources about the Uluru Statement and the calls that it makes. 


Natassia Chrysanthos, 'What is the Uluru Statement from the Heart?' Sydney Morning Herald, 27 May 2019

NITV 'The Point' video clip from Season 5, episode 21, on SBS On Demand.

Uluru Statement: A Quick Guide, Parliament of Australia, 19 June 2017

Referendum Council's work

The Referendum Council was a 15-member group appointed by then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on 7 December 2015 to advise on steps towards a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution of Australia.

Referendum Council media release, 'Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples from across Australia make historic statement', 26 May 2017.

The Council completed its work with the handing down of the Final report of the Referendum Council  to Parliament 30 June 2017.

Agreements and statements

Uluru Statement from the Heart 2017

Barrunga Statement 1988. This declaration, presented by Yunupingu and Rubuntja Aboriginal leaders in the Northern Territory to then-Prime Minister Bob Hawke, urged the Australian Government and people to recognise the rights of Indigenous peoples, including the rights to self-determination and self-management.

Larrakia Petition 1972. This petition to Queen Elizabeth II was organised by the Larrakia people near Darwin. The petition, signed and thumbprinted by around 1,000 Larrakia community members,  appealed for help to achieve land rights and political representation. 

Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963. These petitions, signed and thumbprinted by around 500 Aboriginal people from the Yirrkala area, Arnhem Land, were sent to the Australian Parliament, to protest the loss of their lands to bauxite mining. 

William Cooper, Yorta Yorta elder, Petition to King George V, 1934. This petition appealed to the King to intervene to improve the conditions of Aboriginal people and give them a voice in Federal Parliament, stating that their land had been taken and their legal status denied. The petition carried 1,814 signatures or 'marks' of Aboriginal persons.

UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007

Recommended books

  • Finding the Heart of the Nation by Thomas Mayor
  • Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
  • Welcome to Country by Marcia Langton
  • I am Uluru by Jen Cowley
  • It’s Our Country by Megan Davis and Marcia Langton (editors)

Media coverage and commentary