Philanthropy responds to Uluru Statement

Thu, 11 Jul 2019

Australia’s philanthropic community has joined together to sign a collective response to the Uluru Statement From the Heart.

Released in May 2017, the Uluru Statement From the Heart is a national Indigenous consensus position on Indigenous constitutional reform, which was drafted at the end of a three-day constitutional convention of 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates. The Statement was the culmination of 13 Regional Dialogues held around the country during a year-long consultation.

The Statement From the Heart is a message to all Australians, calling for the establishment of a ‘First Nations Voice’ in the Australian Constitution and a ‘Makarrata Commission’ to supervise a process of ‘agreement-making’ and ‘truth-telling’ between governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

To view the Uluru Statement of the Heart, click here.

In an ‘open letter from philanthropy’ published in the Australian Financial Review on Friday 12 July 2019, 62 individual philanthropists and philanthropic foundations have supported the call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution and for a Makarrata Commission.

Philanthropy Australia Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Davies, said the open letter was driven by the sector’s desire to help make a difference for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“Philanthropy has a responsibility to take a stand on social issues where it can to make a difference and many of our members felt this was an ideal opportunity to respond collectively. That’s because at its very core, philanthropy is about working with communities to achieve positive social, environmental and cultural change,” Ms Davies said.

Open letter from philanthropy to the First Nations of Australia

We support the Uluru Statement from the Heart

Thank you for your Uluru Statement from the Heart, an invitation to Australia and the Australian people.

We make this response as members of the philanthropic community in Australia, committed to a reconciled Australia and one that is respectful of the spirit of self-determination.

We share your vision for Australia’s First Nations to take their rightful place in Australia and fully embrace your vision for your children to walk in two worlds. We thank you for and embrace this gift of your culture, which will give us all a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood.

We recognise the Uluru Statement as a historic mandate for change and understand that all Australians have a great responsibility to walk alongside our first Australians in the call for constitutional reform and in the need for truth-telling about the history and impact of colonisation.

We hear and support your call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution and for a referendum to achieve this as a national priority.

We hear and support your call for a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations, and truth-telling about our history.

We commit to working with you and standing by you and all Australia to achieve the aims of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

SIGNED BY (last updated 16 February 2023)

  1. Alison Otieno
  2. Anna Beaumont
  3. Annamila Foundation
  4. Arnie Bax
  5. Australian Communities Foundation
  6. Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network
  7. Australian Executor Trustees Ltd
  8. Australian Social Investment Trust
  9. Australian Women Donors Network
  10. Barbara Charan
  11. Bass Coast Community Foundation
  12. Besen Family Foundation
  13. Black Dog Institute
  14. Broadley Trust
  15. Cathy Scalzo
  16. Capricorn Foundation
  17. Craig Winkler
  18. Diane Balnaves
  19. Dominique Jones
  20. Dr Pete Gill, Blue Whale Study Inc.
  21. Dusseldorp Forum
  22. English Family Foundation
  23. Equity Trustees
  24. Euan Murdoch
  25. Fay Fuller Foundation
  26. Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal
  27. Fouress Foundation
  28. Fremantle Foundation
  29. Genevieve Fitzgerald
  30. Genevieve Timmons
  31. Gillian Hund
  32. Give Where You Live Foundation
  33. Helen Macpherson Smith Trust
  34. Impact Generation Partners
  35. James N Kirby Foundation
  36. Julie Rosenberg
  37. Julie Sanders
  38. Kilfinan AUSTRALIA
  39. Koda Capital
  40. Kristin Stegley OAM
  41. Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation
  42. Maple-Brown Family Foundation
  43. Matana Foundation for Young People
  44. Melbourne Welsh Church Foundation
  45. Michal Fagan, Trusts and Foundations Manager Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation
  46. Ninti One Limited
  47. Norman Family
  48. Paul Metcalfe, Cape York Partnership
  49. Paul Salteri AM, Chairman of CAGES Foundation
  50. Perpetual
  51. Reichstein Foundation
  52. Ross Coller
  53. Ruffin Falkiner Foundation
  54. Sharon Landy
  55. Simone Clancy
  56. Sir David Martin Foundation
  57. Sue Westwood
  58. ten20 Foundation
  59. Tessa English
  60. The Aesop Foundation
  61. The Balnaves Foundation
  62. The Caledonia Foundation
  63. The Funding Network
  64. The Kimberley Foundation
  65. The Myer Foundation
  66. The R E Ross Trust
  67. The Skrzynski Family Sky Foundation
  68. The Smith Family
  69. The Snow Foundation
  70. The Tony Foundation
  71. The Wyatt Trust
  72. Thea Kleiber
  73. Trawalla Foundation
  74. Wendy & Rod Brooks
  75. Wheelton Philanthropy
  76. Wilson Foundation
  77. Woor-Dungin
  78. Yarraville Community Centre

As the peak body for giving, Philanthropy Australia uses the collective voice of the hundreds of funders, social investors, for-purpose organisations and change agents that comprise its membership community to advocate for policy and regulatory environments that enable more philanthropy with impact in Australia.

General contact:
Vicki Norton
Director, Strategic Projects
Philanthropy Australia
E: [email protected]

Media contact:
Sophie Marcard
Director, Marketing and Communications 
Philanthropy Australia
E: [email protected]