In 2021, Mamamia will only refer to January 26 by its date, to acknowledge that it is not a day of celebration for all Australians. If you want to be an ally this January 26, we urge you to sign this letter to your MP about the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which calls for constitutional change and structural reform that recognises the sacred, ancient spiritual link Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to their land.
The Uluru Statement provides a roadmap forward for the nation as we enter into uncertain times.
Here’s why January 26th is one of the most complex dates in Australia. Post continues below.
A roadmap that can unify the nation, embedded in the world’s oldest living and continuing culture and resolving the unfinished business this country has with the First Peoples. With climate change, a tightening economy and a perennially toxic national day, most Australians yearn for some leadership as we navigate our way through the messy conversations that need to be had about who we are and what we stand for, now and in the future.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a roadmap to peace forged by many First Nations peoples in 2017. It is a very Australian innovation. It is an example of the transformative potential of liberal democratic governance through civic engagement. This engagement produced the best of what Australia’s democracy has to offer: innovation, creativity and a vision for the future.
On May 26, 2017, the Uluru Convention saw the delegates adopt a consensus position on ‘meaningful recognition’ in the Constitution, and that was constitutional reform, a Voice to Parliament, to empower our people. Following the decision-making, we issued a statement to all Australians – the Uluru Statement from the Heart – asking Aussies to walk with us.
Our people have issued many statements over the past few decades: the Bark Petitions of 1963, the Barunga Statement of 1988, the Eva Valley Statement of 1993, the Kalkaringi Statement of 1998, the report on the Social Justice Package by ATSIC in 1995 and the Kirribilli Statement of 2015. This time we adopted a different approach.
To bring about change, we decided to call upon the Australian people to help us. All Australians are suffering from a lack of faith and confidence in our public institutions to deliver the reforms that are required to push us forward, united as a country. The law and policy inertia plays out in many areas from productivity to climate change and especially in Indigenous affairs.