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
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.
- 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
- Rob Harris, 'Ken Wyatt launches Voice to Parliament consultation', news story in Sydney Morning Herald, 30 October 2019
- Murray Gleeson, former chief justice, 'Why I support a Voice to Parliament', Inside Story, 21 July 2019
- Pat Dodson, senator for Western Australia (WA), former chair of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, and Yawuru man from Broome, WA, 'Treaty when? Dodson warns of betrayal and airbrushing of Indigenous ambition,' op-ed published in Sydney Morning Herald, 11 July, 2019
- Teela Reid, lawyer, human rights advocate, and Wiradjuri and Wailwan woman. 'One giant leap for Indigenous Australia, but let's be clear about the Voice,' op-ed published in Sydney Morning Herald, 11 July, 2019
- Dani Larkin, lawyer, academic, and indigenous woman of Bundjalung, Kungarakany, Yorta Yorta origins. 'Indigenous constitutional recognition is needed to 'shift national consciousness', interview with ABC Gold Coast, 11 July 2019
- Megan Davis, constitutional lawyer and Pro Vice Chancellor, University of NSW, and Aboriginal woman from Cobble Cobble clan, southwest Queensland. 'The Voice to Parliament: Our plea to be heard', op-ed published on ABC Religion and Ethics, 11 July 2019
- Victoria Grieve-Williams, Warraimaay historian and Adjunct Professor, Indigenous Research, RMIT University. 'Makarrata: the Aboriginal healing process we should all know about', op-ed on SBS website, 9 July 2019.
- Deborah Snow, 'Rediscovering the Heart – How the Uluru Statement got bogged in detail', Sydney Morning Herald, 26 January 2019
- Isabella Higgins, ABC national Indigenous affairs reporter, 'Indigenous Voice to Parliament should be reconsidered', 29 November 2018
- Megan Davis, Cheryl Saunders, Mark McKenna, Shireen Morris, Christopher Mayes and Maria Giannacopoulos, 'The Uluru Statement From Heart, One Year On: Can a First Nations Voice Yet Be Heard?', op-ed on ABC Religion and Ethics site, 26 May 2018
- Megan Davis, 'The Republic is an Aboriginal issue', The Monthly, April 2018
- Francis Markham, academic, 'Three reasons why the gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians aren't closing', The Conversation, 12 February 2018
- Sean Gordon, chief executive, Darkinjung Aboriginal Land Council, 'Indigenous recognition: Turnbull Government's rejection of Uluru Statement from the Heart indefensible', op-ed on ABC News site, 27 October 2017
- Harry Hobbs, constitutional law and indigenous rights academic, 'Listening to the heart: What now for indigenous recognition after the Uluru summit?' The Conversation, 26 May 2017
- Galarrwuy Yunupingu, leader of the Gumatj clan of East Arnhem Land, and 1978 Australian of the Year, 'Rom Watangu: An Indigenous leader reflects on a lifetime following the law of the land', The Monthly, July 2016