27 C
Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Storylines: Uluru Statement from the Heart

Latest News

Local youth among those hardest hit by housing affordability crisis

A 20 per cent spike in rents is driving an increase in youth homelessness across the North Coast, the organisers of a national campaign to end homelessness say.

Other News

Upgrades for Lighthouse Parade in Ballina

One of the showcase areas of Ballina is about to get a safety and aesthetic upgrade, with the Lighthouse Parade Pedestrian Precinct and Road Safety Project commencing soon.

Federal Government grants for infrastructure improvements – Tweed

Tweed Shire Council today announced more than $3.75 million in Federal Government grants for 10 infrastructure projects in the area.

Common courtesy

Anonymous, Byron Bay First of all, thank you to those customers who did the right thing and wore their masks in...

MVP is its own award

It’s easy to get excited about Byron’s new MVP restaurant in Lawson St – it’s not only got standout dishes such as Blue Spirulina Linguine with blue swimmer crab and Yamba prawns, and Fettuccine al Ragù with Hayters Hill beef ragù sauce, feta and baby peas, but it’s also all sustainably sourced from local growers, available in takeaway (even delivered if you’re close to town) and more than half of the menu is plant-based.

Byron Drag Racers World Record

The local AAA Racing motorcycle team have set a new world record in 100cc class, as well as a top national speed in 50cc class at the recent Australian Speed Week held at Salt Lake Gairdner, South Australia.

Flawed plan

Kai Beijerbacht, Mullumbimby For those of you who haven’t been living under a rock, I’m sure you are aware of the...

This article is made possible by the support of Ninbella Gallery.

How non-indigenous people can support a Makarrata

Louise Togo

The Uluru Statement from the Heart seeks constitutional reform to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to have a say and be involved over matters that impact their lives. What that means is that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are seeking an enshrined voice that is protected in the constitution.

The true history of colonisation and the impact that it has had on our First Nations peoples has often been kept out of the history books or romanticised by missionaries promoting the idea that Indigenous people were a ‘dying race’ and it was their place to help ‘smooth the dying pillow’. They believed that eventually Aboriginal people would be ‘bred-out’ and those remaining would ‘assimilate’ into mainstream society.

Northern Rivers Uluru Statement supporters group. Photo supplied.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have never lain silent on matters that have affected them personally, in community, in the state, or nationwide. While the echoes of injustice have so often fallen on deaf government ears, the fight and our voices have continued; they have changed and developed, and become stronger.

Since colonisation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been advocating for self-determination and a rightful place both within Australian history and Australia’s future.

Throughout generations of advocacy, while the laws and policies have negatively impacted Indigenous culture, it has not put out the fire for justice for Australia’s First Nations people – it has only made the fight and the call for recognition of constitutional rights stronger.

Makarrata

So, while the struggle for an Indigenous voice is not new, the Uluru Statement from the Heart document is.

In 2017, the Uluru Statement from the Heart invited all Australians to walk with us, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, in a movement of all the Australian people for a better future. A monumental step. It acknowledged in this statement that it would take all Australians, standing united, to affect change; it recognised that it was not possible without all Australians walking in this journey together.

Thomas Mayor. Photo supplied.

The Uluru statement outlines a Makarrata commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between government and First Nations and includes truth-telling about our history.

Makarrata is a Yolngu word that describes a process of conflict resolution, peacemaking and justice.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a rallying call. In its passages it echoes the Indigenous voices of the past, it recognises that sovereignty was never ceded, and makes clear that it is time to correct wrongs through a process of truth-telling. It will take the power of all Australians to do this.

Thomas Mayor with the Tweed Community. Photo supplied.

In 2019 I attended a Politics in the Pub event in Mullumbimby hosted by the Ngara Institute when Thomas Mayor was speaking about the Uluru Statement At that time, I had only heard about the statement and of course it was the NAIDOC Theme that year; VOICE, TREATY, TRUTH.

My understanding in 2019 was very limited, but after listening to Thomas Mayor speak I was inspired to seek the truth. I have now read many books, reports, and spoken to many people about the Uluru Statement. When confident in this knowledge I helped found the Northern Rivers Uluru Statement Supporters group.

I decided that I was going to use my voice, my platform, to advocate for change, and this is how I was going to do it; I was going to be an ‘ally’.

Support from the heart

There are a few simple ways for non-indigenous people to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart and be a good ‘ally’. It’s all about education and the willingness to seek that education with an open heart and understanding.

Thomas Mayor in Brunswick Heads in 2018 promoting Uluru Statement From The Heart. Photo supplied.

I say this because becoming an ‘ally’ is about unlearning your truth and what you have been taught about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and learning a new narrative.

We can no longer be like our government who, in its own fragility, have been unwilling to support an acknowledgement and a recognition of First Nations people. We must take the stance that our governments have failed in for so long.

It can be extremely difficult, but it is time for all Australians to acknowledge and support a First Nations narrative that comes from a place of truth.

Become good allies

To Support the Uluru Statement from the Heart and become good allies can be as easy as the following:

  • Read the Uluru Statement from the Heart www.fromtheheart.com.au)
  • Discuss and share the statement with your family, friends, and co-workers.
  • You can sign the Digital Canvas.
  • Join a local Uluru Statement from the Heart supporters’ group on social media.
  • Discuss the statement with your workplace and support the Statement by placing a copy of it in your office, and by including it as part of your reconciliation action plan.
  •  And finally… walk with us in a movement of the Australian People for a better future.

Louise Togo.

Author

Louise Togo is a Saltwater woman living on Coodjinburra Kuntri.

Louise has worked in Indigenous education for the past 20 years, both in the classroom and mentoring youth helping to create pathways.

Louise local advocate for the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

 


Further Information

1. Blood on the Wattle – Massacres and Maltreatment of Aboriginal People since 1788.
2. Finding the Heart of the Nation. Thomas Mayor
3. www.fromtheheart.com.au
4. SBS Series The First Australians.
5. The Final Report of the Referendum Council 2017
6. www.referendumcouncil.org.au


More Storylines articles

Storylines – Call for Aboriginal housing and support

Byron Shire has been experiencing increasing rents for over a decade. It has become a very expensive place to live.

8

Storylines: Uluru Statement from the Heart

The 'Uluru Statement from the Heart' seeks constitutional reform to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to have a say and be involved over matters that impact their lives.

3

It’s never the wrong time to do right

Australia is a country of boundless possibilities, but it will never achieve its true destiny until the soft unspoken murmur in the souls of many, if not most, non-Aboriginal Australians is answered through a dignified truth telling and just reconciliation process.

8

January 26 – a conflicting day for Australians

January 26. A conflicting date for many Australians. For some, this date reflects over 200 years of destruction and denigration of our traditional customs, values, languages, and cultural landscapes.

3

Storylines: Bring back the balance

There was a time when humans were content with living in harmony with nature, our struggles were elemental and intricately connected to our survival.

2

Storylines: Advance Australia Where?

Australia, as a nation, is at a crossroads.

0

Storylines: NAIDOC Week 2020 – Always Was Always Will Be

It’s fast approaching that time of year when Black Lives do Matter – National Aborigine and Islanders Day Observance Committtee (NAIDOC) Week.

0

Storylines: Decolonise or Technologise

Imagine if we passed laws that were about caring for the land and the people, returning the old ways, bringing back the lores from the first cultures of ‘Australia’.

3

Storylines: Winds of change

What is the fear that immerses us to such a degree that we become immobilised? I felt that fear in the initial days of the COVID-19 pandemic. All of the news actually started to make me feel ill, so I turned off the news and tuned in to my life.

0

Storylines: Our most vulnerable community

Doing the right thing. Staying home. Saving lives. But what if you’re not home. What if you are living off country as it’s too expensive to go home, or there is no work at home. What if you have no home?

0


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

3 COMMENTS

    • Stefanie, very true but Morrison’s Mushrooms aka his Comatosed Australians just don’t give a toss about the rubbish governing that is being delivered. How else does one explain his polling numbers – if the polls can be believed anymore after the 2019 election result.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Fresh faces for Council elections

A very distinct, black flat-cap has just been thrown into the ring for the upcoming Byron Council elections, pegged for September 4.

Follow the buck$

JK Mckenna, Burringbar Give Fast Buck$ his own column in the paper. Let him speak. Let him be heard. Let’s also see some accountability from councils...

A bouquet for Lilac House

L Jenkins, Byron Bay Nicole Habrecht should receive free paint and brushes and a pat on the back from Council for maintaining her house in a...

Bruns boarding house showdown Thursday

The stage is set for a crucial debate over the Brunswick Heads ‘Corso’ development in Byron Council this week, with staff recommending that the developer’s revised plans be approved.