Authored by Councillor Jared Cassidy, Labor Leader in Brisbane.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart isn’t something new, it’s the culmination of a lot of history and a lot of hard work. The regional dialogues, as part of the Referendum Council set up in 2015 were substantial and historic. Between December 2016 and May 2017, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people met across the country and the culmination of that work was the Uluru Statement from the Heart. It clearly and confidently set the path that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people wanted to walk with all Australians on.
Our Labor team in Council moved a motion that Brisbane City Council recognise the Uluru Statement from the Heart back in 2019.
As the largest local government in Australia, this was an important step. Now we need to follow through with actions. Our team will be out across Brisbane to join the YES campaign for constitutional recognition and a Voice to Parliament for Indigenous Australians.
It’s also important to remember that all of us can play a role in ensuring a successful campaign for a Voice. From working with local community organisations, sharing campaign information on social media, or simple conversations with neighbours, family, and friends, we can all make a difference.
The Uluru Statement is an invitation to all Australians. It put forward three key things; A Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution and the establishment of a Makarrata Commission for the purposes of treaty making and truth telling. Voice, Treaty, Truth.
This opportunity for Australians to walk with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is about to happen and it will be the last opportunity to do this for a generation. Self-determination, consultation, engagement, representation, independence and stability will all be key outcomes of a successful referendum. It’s clear that decision making over a long period of time has happened in a vacuum, in Canberra without the full engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Governments of all political persuasions have not been able to provide solutions in a top-down way that have worked on the ground. This is an opportunity to change that.
We are a country that was established through colonisation. Our past is a particularly brutal one for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and for 250 years they have not had a seat at the table in their own lands. Modern Australia is a bright, welcoming and open society. We are one of the most successful multicultural countries on earth and have proven around the world that progress is a good thing. We have one more step to emerge from our past with courage and conviction and secure our bright future for all Australians. If we don’t take that step this year, we leave that opportunity behind.
Vote YES in the referendum this year.