Uluru statement from the Heart

The City of Fremantle has joined organisations across Australia in a national week of action to voice their support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

The Uluru Statement was adopted by more than 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from around Australia who were delegates at the First Nations National Constitutional Convention at Uluru in May last year.

The statement calls for a ‘First Nations Voice’ in the Australian Constitution and a ‘Makarrata Commission’ to supervise a process of ‘agreement-making’ and ‘truth-telling’ between government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This national week of action this week has been organised as a show of support for the statement ahead of the release of a parliamentary committee report on constitutional recognition later this month.

Fremantle Council voted to support the Uluru Statement following a motion led by Cr Rachel Pemberton in June this year.

The City of Fremantle is currently developing a Reconciliation Action Plan in consultation with local elders and community members.

Mayor Brad Pettitt said the participants in the RAP consultation showed their support for the council’s position and wanted the government to continue the process that the Uluru statement commenced.

“The Uluru Statement states two broad objectives for reform as agreed to by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders at the Convention—the establishment of a First Nations Voice and a Makarrata Commission,” Mayor Pettitt said.

“These objectives reflect the nature of reform desired rather than specifying the fine detail of any proposed changes to the Australian Constitution.

“The positions in the Uluru Statement do, however, reflect some of the ideas and proposals advanced by Indigenous and political leaders, and constitutional experts over many years.

“In articulating two positions which have broad support, it is hoped that they can become the foundations of a renewed conversation with the whole Australian community about constitutional reform and recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the precise form that will take.”

The Australian Parliament agreed to establish a Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in March this year.

The Committee, co-chaired by Julian Leeser MP and Senator Patrick Dodson, was tasked with recommending options for constitutional change which meet the expectations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and will secure the support of the Parliament and the Australian people.

The Committee has consulted with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader community at hearings around the country and will provide its final report to Parliament by 29 November 2018.