Endorsement for the Uluru Statement from the Heart
The George Institute for Global Health reiterates our strong endorsement of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and supports the call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice to be enshrined in Australia’s Constitution.
We again urge the Australian Government to support the Statement and put in place constitutional reforms that give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a say in the decisions that affect their lives.
The current lack of constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples has contributed to challenges in advancing health outcomes and equity.
The statement calls for a ‘First Nations Voice’ in the form of a representative body recognised in the Australian Constitution and the establishment of the ‘Makarrata Commission’ to supervise a process of ‘agreement-making’ and ‘truth-telling’ between governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Keziah Bennett-Brook, Manager of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program at The George Institute, said: “There has been a groundswell of public support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the proposal for a Voice to Parliament since its inception and subsequent rejection from the Parliament in 2017.
“The recommendations laid out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart provide the direction towards constitutional recognition and truth-telling for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
“The Statement promotes the improved health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and aligns with The George Institute’s priority to close the gap in health inequality.
“This is the pathway to self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and the establishment of a Voice will empower First Nations peoples to take the lead in shaping the policy and legislation which governs our peoples and communities.
“The Statement is historic in its scope and invitation for a dialogue that allows a First Nations Voice to be shared, but most significantly be heard.”
Professor Vlado Perkovic, Executive Director of The George Institute, Australia, said: “We at the George Institute believe that implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart is a fundamental step in achieving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people equivalent to the rest of the Australian population.”
The George Institute welcomes the final report of the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and looks forward to recommendations that will set out a clear path for constitutional change and legislative measures that meet the expectations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the support of all Australians.