July 11th, 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.
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.
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.
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