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Byron Shire
March 5, 2021

Uluru Statement meaningful

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John Lazarus, Byron Bay

The Uluru Statement is neither ‘a futile attempt concocted with government patronage’ nor ‘a meaningless wish list’ as some claimed on The Echo’s website.

It is the best recent proposal from an Aboriginal representative group whose members came from all areas of Australia to attend the 2017 Aboriginal National Constitutional Convention to move race relations on in this country.

The Uluru proposals are simply a call for a) Constitutional Reform to establish an Aboriginal body to sit alongside Federal Parliament to become the conduit to and from Federal Government on issues affecting Aboriginal people, and b) the creation of a Makarrata Commission to progress reconciliation of the situation where British people just came here and then claimed the whole continent as theirs.

The Statement proposes that the Makarrata Commission supervise a process of agreement making between governments and Aboriginal people (which may be a treaty), on the basis of historical truth telling that includes the Aboriginal experience of European occupation. We are the only European occupied country that hasn’t organised a treaty with the traditional owners. Australians of immigrant background have occupied and exploited the resources of this land, and that should have been passed down to this generation of Aboriginal people who owned it for 60,000 years previously.

Of course there are other options – an Aboriginal treaty directly with the British occupiers, or through the violent global traditional way of addressing contested land grievances. There is no peace without justice, but there can be justice without peace. I suggest everyone have a look at http://www.1voiceuluru.org   and ulurustatement.org


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2 COMMENTS

  1. John,
    The Uluru Statement of the Heart was constituted on May 26, 2017. Ever since that time politicians have made many people fearful of what the Statement says. So politicians have made near impossible any forward motion and of wheels turning about equality of race because of fear by gossip, innuendo and nudge, nudge and not fact. Here is the fact:
    The text of the Statement is as follows:[11]
    “We, gathered at the 2017 National Constitutional Convention, coming from all points of the southern sky, make this statement from the heart:
    Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign Nations of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and possessed it under our own laws and customs. This our ancestors did, according to the reckoning of our culture, from the Creation, according to the common law from ‘time immemorial’, and according to science more than 60,000 years ago.
    This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or ‘mother nature’, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown.
    How could it be otherwise? That peoples possessed a land for sixty millennia and this sacred link disappears from world history in merely the last two hundred years?
    With substantive constitutional change and structural reform, we believe this ancient sovereignty can shine through as a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood.
    Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people. Our children are aliened from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene numbers. They should be our hope for the future.
    These dimensions of our crisis tell plainly the structural nature of our problem. This is the torment of our powerlessness.
    We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.
    We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.
    Makarrata is the culmination of our agenda: the coming together after a struggle. It captures our aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia and a better future for our children based on justice and self-determination.
    We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history.
    In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.”
    Note on Makarrata:
    Makarrata is a Yolngu word “describing a process of conflict resolution, peacemaking and justice”,[12] or “a coming together after a struggle”, and delegates said that it “captures our aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia”, and the Makarrata Commission would “supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations”.[13]

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