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.