Understanding the Uluru Statement from the Heart
You have probably recently heard and read about the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the First Nations Voice to Parliament.
The Uluru Statement is an important document in Australian history, and everyone should have the opportunity to understand its significance and learn how they can participate. Barkuma believes in empowering you with the knowledge to develop your own opinion on the topic. Let’s explore the facts together!
What is the Uluru Statement from the Heart?
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a document created by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders. They met at the First Nations National Constitutional Convention, held in 2017 at the foot of Uluru in Central Australia on the lands of the Aṉangu people.
The statement aims to ensure that Indigenous peoples have a say in decisions that affect them and that Australia’s Constitution recognises and respects their rights, cultures, and contributions. It calls for the creation of a role called the First Nations Voice to Parliament.
The First Nations Voice to Parliament will:
- Provide independent advice to parliament and government.
- Be chosen by First Nations people based on the wishes of local communities.
- Represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
- Be empowering, community-led, inclusive, respectful, culturally informed and gender balanced. It will also include youth.
- It will be accountable and transparent.
- The voice will work alongside existing organisations and traditional structures.
Later this year, all Australians aged eighteen and over will vote in a referendum to decide whether a First Nations voice to parliament will be enshrined in the Australian Constitution.
Parliament will create the Voice role through legislation if the majority vote is yes.
Why is it important?
The Uluru Statement recognises the need for Indigenous voices to be heard and respected. By establishing a constitutional voice, Indigenous Australians can influence laws and policies that impact their communities. The statement also emphasises the importance of truth-telling, acknowledging past wrongs, and creating a path forward based on shared understanding and respect.
How can you participate?
All Australians are encouraged to consider the importance of an indigenous voice to parliament. Here are a few ways to get involved:
Take the time to understand the Uluru Statement and its significance. Read about it, watch videos or discuss it with support workers, friends and family members. Here is a helpful website for further information:
Talk about the Uluru Statement with others. Share your thoughts and knowledge to raise awareness and encourage discussions.
Stand in solidarity with Indigenous communities and their rights. Attend events, support Indigenous businesses, or engage with organisations working towards reconciliation and Indigenous empowerment.
Use your voice to promote understanding and respect. Speak up against discrimination, challenge stereotypes and promote inclusivity in your community.
5. Enrol to vote
It is compulsory by law for all eligible Australian citizens to enrol and vote in federal elections, by-elections and referendums.
You can find out more and enrol to vote here: https://www.aec.gov.au/enrol/
The Uluru Statement from the Heart represents an important step towards reconciliation, justice and recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Understanding its significance allows you to actively participate in discussions and contribute to a more inclusive and fair Australia. Barkuma encourages you to explore the Uluru Statement, share your thoughts and join the conversation to create a better future for all Australians.
Remember, your voice matters!