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MEDIA RELEASE: Philanthropy responds to Uluru Statement

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.

Download a copy of philanthropy's response to the Uluru Statement here.

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 11/9/2019)

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

Media contact:
Megan Hannan
Marketing Manager
Philanthropy Australia
M: 0438 859 825
T: 03 9665 9112

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