The Uluru Statement from the Heart was issued by a gathering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders in 2017. The Statement’s recommendations were quickly rejected by the, then, PM Malcolm Turnbull.
Five years on and the new Albanese Government has committed itself to full implementation of the Statement’s recommendations. Just last weekend, Mr. Albanese announced that a referendum to establish a Voice to Parliament, one of the Statement’s key recommendations, will be held in the financial year 2023 -2024.
Last November, with the support of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC), the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) endorsed the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
Dean Parkin is Director of From the Heart and was a keynote speaker at the recent NATSICC Assembly in Townsville. Dean is a Quandamooka man and lives on country on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island). From the Heart is an organisation educating Australians about the importance of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament. Those who attended the Assembly joined yarning circles to discuss the Voice. There was much support for the Voice and participants began to discuss how they could help to support a “Yes” vote in the upcoming referendum.
Much emphasis is being put on organising a grassroots campaign to get the “Yes” vote over the line. From the Heart and other organisations will be gearing up to provide support to organise this grassroots campaign in 2023. The From the Heart web site has lots of information about the Uluru Statement from the Heart. It also offers a campaign tool kit to help those interested in getting involved in the referendum campaign now: