Indigenous voices determined to be heard

Mungo MacCallum and Thomas Mayor hold up the Uluru statement at Brunswick Heads on Saturday, March 25. Photo Jenny Garrett

Asren Pugh

On Sunday, March 25, about 40 people met in Brunswick Heads Park to hear Thomas Mayor tell the story of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

The Uluru statement was the result of the historic First Nations Convention held at Uluru in 2017 that was the culmination of a series of First Nations Regional Dialogues held across the country.

Thomas’s ordinary job is as the elected Secretary of the Northern Territory Maritime Union of Australia and he drew on his union history to ask for solidarity in the response from the Australian people to the statement.

Thomas described the euphoria, the jubilation and the unity as delegates embraced, cried and buried old disagreements to ultimately speak with one voice as the draft statement was read out at the Convention.

This is a time for non-indigenous Australians to listen to the voices and the demands of the First Nation Peoples’ of Australia. It is time to show that solidarity and support their calls for a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution and for the establishment a of a Makarrata Commission to oversee agreement making and truth telling.

While Thomas expressed his extreme disappointment at the response from our Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, he also called for determination to win this fight by uniting all Australians to support the statement.

Holding the original copy of the statement with the artwork of Anangu women led by Rene Kulitja was an awe-inspiring experience. Many people at the meeting said they felt like they were a part of history and unworthy to even hold the document.

Thomas asked us all to take the time to read the statement and to share its words, including on social media.

You can find the statement online and sign on to show your support.

4 responses to “Indigenous voices determined to be heard”

  1. Jill Keogh says:

    A great event and well-described by Asren Pugh. My only comment is that there were closer to 80 people!

  2. colin george says:

    This is an opportunity for all Australians to listen to our Indigenous community. They have made it clear.

    Let’s tell our politicians to give them the respect that they deserve in the political arena which will benefit us all.

    This country interprets power to mean, land, money and political influence.

    People power is the one wild card that we can use – lobby our politicians, be seen so others can be heard.

    • Jill Keogh says:

      Hear hear! Colin George!

      We can all write a submission to the new parliamentary committee established in March to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and constitutional change.

  3. Megan Edwards says:

    Oh yes, more like 130 I counted at its peak, a fantastic show of support and the beginnings of a wonderful peoples movement to bring about much needed constitutional reform. Thomas Mayor is a inspirational speaker and I’m so grateful that he has bought such great hope for change to us all.

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