Campaigner for the The Uluru Statement from the Heart Thomas Mayor talks with Noongar Radio broadcaster Mark Patrick about Voice, Treaty, Truth.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart
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.