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Byron Shire
October 27, 2021

Time to move on the Uluru Statement

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When Australia voted on the referendum to give Indigenous Australians the vote they did so overwhelmingly.

Advocate Thomas Mayor believes that if Australians were given the chance to vote on accepting the Uluru Statement from the Heart they would once again support the Indigenous people of this land.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart was the united outcome in 2017 of the nationwide First Nations Dialogues run by the Referendum Council that sought two outcomes. Firstly, that a First Nations voice (a representative body to give advice to parliament) is enshrined in the Constitution; and secondly, that a Makarrata commission should be formed to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations, and truth-telling to the nation.

Important for this country

Since the Uluru Statement from the Heart was presented on 26 May 2017, Thomas Mayor has been travelling Australia talking about what this means not only for Indigenous Australians but more broadly about how important it is for this country to be able to move forward and heal.

He was in Mullumbimby last week at Politics in the Pub explaining that the Uluru Statement is an appeal to the Australian people.

‘I haven’t stopped since the Uluru Statement from the Heart was put forward,’ he told The Echo. ‘There has been a great shift coming for a long time that is gaining momentum.’

However, as with previous attempts at seeking justice and recognition for Indigenous people of this country, the Liberal/National government has rejected the statement.

‘Nationally there has been overwhelming support,’ says Mr Mayor, ‘but the government is so comfortable in its status quo there are some of them that are quite ignorant in their objections – objections that are based on lies.

‘One of the great flaws of our democracy is that a few loud voices in parliament are holding up this long-overdue reform.

‘We are not asking for a third chamber in parliament,’ he said. ‘We are asking for constitutional recognition so that they [the government] can get the policy affecting our people right. Even a conservative former chief justice of the High Court has acknowledged that we are not equal and a constitutionally enshrined First Nations voice is reasonable and achievable.

Leadership needed

‘It requires leadership from parliamentarians. If they take the leadership they can make it happen.

‘But if the leadership isn’t there then the people need to vote them out. The opposition and the Greens have supported the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full.

‘But the Liberal/National party government – they have walked away recently and I hope voters will walk away from them.

‘I encourage supporters to take initiative; that is the key,’ says Mr Mayor, who is encouraging everyone to take action at all levels, big and small.

‘I am working at all levels I can. I’ve taken it to the remotest communities in Australia and the Torres Strait, to big cities, to people on the left and the right. We have support across the political spectrum; these are the ingredients for change. We need our supporters to take the time and have the courage to have conversations with the unconverted. Help us build this movement.’


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13 COMMENTS

  1. When a conservative former chief justice of the High Court acknowledges that the Indiginous are not equal in Health or longivity or status to the rest of the nation and a constitutionally enshrined First Nation’s voice is reasonable and achievable, then the Indiginoius should go to the High Court so they lawfully overule the white nation to make the Aborigine equal to all other races in Australia.
    To not accept the First Nation in the Constitution means that Chinese, German, English, Vietnamese, Italian, Japanese or any other race is more important than the First Nation Aborigine. That is racism.

  2. When white Australians voted overwhelmingly in 1966, it was to include not divide.
    The total opposite of the extremely self-serving fantasy of racial apartheid of the uluru wish-list, designed to entrench division and increase the ridiculous levels of entitlement already available to anyone who ‘identifies’ as aboriginal.
    It is time that all Australians be treated equaly , and not some being” more equal” than others.
    There never was, nor ever will be, a “first nation” the primitive stone-age waring tribes were totally defeated, overwhelmed and taken by conquest over two hundred years ago. Which is why there was never any need to make any treaty.
    Australia is far from perfect, but you can’t fix it by creating more division. There is only one Australia and democracy is it’s best hope, and if we work together one day we might achieve real democracy !
    G”)

    • “the ridiculous levels of entitlement” – Aboriginals are the most incarcerated group in the world (significantly because of unpaid fines due to the confiscation of what should have been passed down from their parents which has left them poor and margianalised), they have a 10 year lower life expectancy than Australians of immigrant backgrounds, a far higher amount of treatable diseases, higher suicide rate, lower educational achievements (about 50% are functionally illiterate in English), lower Political representation…and all on still illegally occupied Aboriginal land (no war was declared , no one surrendered, and ownership and Sovereignty never ceded). Not to mention the “entitlement” of perhaps 1.3 Million Aboriginal people being reduced to 300,000 in the first decades of colonisation .The British Title is based on the fraud of Terra Nulius (land empty of people) which remains a defect in the Title. And your philosophy of ‘this is mine now’ is dangerous – an example is the Balkans where after 1000 years the Serbs and Croats again went to war over control of that land, and I have little doubt that a few hundred thousand armed Aboriginals could take back a big chunk of this continent – is that how you want to sort out foreigners planting a flag on an already occupied land with a successful culture of 60,000 years? You have no comprehension of justice and no compassion for the families of the pre existing people that we share this country with. Sorry, but I have sent your name to the Invasion Committee – there is a number of boats prepared for the First Fleet Back. Dont worry the Europeans are friendly people and there will be plenty of good jobs for you there, and you’re children will be well looked after in camps run by very moral Church organisations, where they will be well fed with sugar and tea.

      • You can also send my name to this commitee, John Thomas Mitchell, Murwillumbah. The bone pointing has to end, one way or another. Successful culture? Occasionally 4 weeks at a time rain and cold, so no fire, no clothes, maybe a cave or a rock overhang. And nothing to say any single tribe with its own language any more than a few hundred years old, the Dreamtime might be no older than the Celts, we wldnt know because no writing. What we do know, including what aborigines know, is mainly because of anthropologists and archeologists. You outline the idea of a party in line with Greens and Labor, so this is political. Enough.

  3. I’m sorry but when it comes to sensitive cultural and social issues in this country we should only be listening perspicacious minds like Pauline Hanson and Andrew Bolt, he does refer to himself as an indegeneous Australian after all.

  4. Shame on you Ken. Where is the equality in life expectancy, health, worst incarceration rates on the planet, worst unemployment,,drug and alcohol abuse,family violence, suicide rates, and education, etc
    And all this was brought upon these sensitive, stalwart and humble people by your ancestors’ theft of their land.
    Pay the rent

  5. Somebody should club Ken over the head, steal his children and make them eat soap if they speak English, take away his land and livelihood, make treaties with him and then ignore them, rape his wife, give diseased blankets to his mother, falsify the history of what happened and tell him that is justified because he is defeated. Then I will listen to him speak about being treated equally.

    • Just more history bending. Our preserve is not entirely what is passed down. Then we would be truly robots. Ken makes a hard point but a point nonetheless.

  6. And after all that, the fact, if facts still matter, the referendum in question was designed to remove barriers to the Aboriginal vote in Queensland and West Australia. The other states had the Aboriginal vote for men from Federation, and for women from the referendum around 1915 (check date).

  7. The historian Douglas Lockward noted that northern Aboriginal tribes at one time knew about agricultural practice in the northern islands, what is now Indonesia, and discounted it as too much work. That was probably wise of them, then, but now the only reason we have a car or a refrigerator, or the arts and this level of debate, or matchsticks, is because of the success of agriculture. Without that all our effort is in growing backyard carrots and catching a rabbit, or goanna as the case may be. The story can be interpreted either way. Me a little sugar and tea will do. Like the Aboriginals I have language. Politics doesn’t change that.

  8. The Uluru statement was definitely not united. That would’ve taken all the delegates who previously walked out of the meeting to return and join with this statement. But they didn’t.
    Who is this ‘advocate’ man from Darwin, Mr Mayor? Who is paying him to tout the idea. No one knows who he is. Where did he come from?
    Look who actually wrote the statement. What has Natashia Stott-Despoja and some of the other (white) authors got to do with it? Ask Robert Thorpe from Victoria what he thinks? He was one of the deputation that walked out of that meeting in disgust. Do people know that that group did not even have approval to meet by the locals – so much for protocols…

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