What is the Uluru Statement from the Heart ?

Last year marked the fifth anniversary of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

In 2015, Australia’s First Nations people were invited to parliament by the Australian Government to discuss and advise on working towards a referendum, which would recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution. A Referendum Council was appointed and it spent six months speaking with more than 1200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from across Australia in a series of 12 meetings, known as The Dialogues.

In May 2017, this all came together at Uluru for the First Nations National Constitutional Convention, where more than 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates from across
Australia gathered. Upon reflection of The Dialogues, the delegates spent several days writing a 440-word statement which we now know as The Uluru Statement from the Heart.

This statement is an invitation to the Australian people in the form of a series of recommendations to all people across the country, asking for three key reforms: Voice, Treaty and Truth. What followed was one of the most significant moments in the country’s modern history. The Statement we see today includes the signatures of all the delegates who gathered at Uluru for the convention. This was then presented to the nation.

So, what does it mean to First Nations people?

Dale Agius

Dale Agius
Commissioner for First Nations Voice to the South Australian Parliament 

“As Commissioner for First Nations Voice to the South Australian Parliament, I have heard directly from First Nations South Australians on what the Uluru Statement from the Heart means for them.

First Nations people across the state of South Australia have told me that they have a sense of optimism for the future. This is despite the exclusion and inequalities that our people experience, which is felt particularly in regional and remote areas of South Australia. First Nations people continue to tell me they want to have a say at the highest levels. They want their perspective to be heard and considered on the decisions that affect the lives of themselves, their families and their communities.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart calls for a structural reform – a Voice to Parliament – so more inclusive advice can be heard by decision-makers at the highest levels. The Voice to Parliament is an opportunity for First Nations communities to come together with a sense of purpose and meaning to influence positive outcomes and to progress their aspirations.”

Kellie Graves from Tjindu Fundation

Kellie Graves
Generaal Manager of Tjindu Foundation

“As a First Nations Person, I would like a say on matters that affect me, my children and my communities at the highest level. The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation
for all Australians to walk alongside First Nations people in a movement that ensures a better future for not just First Nations People but all Australians. I encourage everyone to take some time to explore and understand the Uluru Statement from the Heart and its three core pillars: Voice, Treaty and Truth.”

Tanya Hosch from AFL

Tanya Hosch
Executive General Manager – Inclusion and Social Policy at the AFL

“The Uluru Statement has been developed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as an invitation for unity. As a nation, there are many actions we can still take together to build this unity, and changing the Constitution to ensure the voices and perspectives of First Nations peoples are heard and recognised is a critical foundation to this. The opportunity presented by the referendum on this question is for us all to come together in a positive and important gesture for positive change that the entire country will benefit from.”

April Lawrie

April Lawrie
Commmissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, and Tjindu Chairperson

“The statement is important because it invites all Australians to work alongside Aboriginal people to create spaces for Aboriginal people to be change makers at the highest level and which has been out of our reach for so long. The statement invites truth telling, treaty and voice as well, creating opportunities to cultivate a forgiving and compassionate and harmonious society. This can only lead to better outcomes for Aboriginal people all round. And if you get it right for Aboriginal people, it can only lead to a better future for Australia.”

Uluru Statement from the Heart

Visit the website to find out more about the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Read it online