Waverley Council adopts measures to strengthen awareness of the Uluru Statement from the Heart
28 November 2022
As part of Waverley Council’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation, Council this month unanimously adopted a Mayoral Minute to formally support the Uluru Statement from the Heart under the ‘Respect’ pillar of Waverley’s INNOVATE Reconciliation Plan (RAP) 2019-2021.
The RAP outlines the Council’s vision for Waverley to be a vibrant, resilient, caring and inclusive community where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples:
- Practice and celebrate their culture and heritage proudly
- Are honoured for their survival and resilience, and supported to continue to overcome adversity
- Are respected and acknowledged as First Nations peoples with the right to determine their own futures
The Respect pillar of the RAP supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advocacy campaigns and resources responses to Council motions on those which relate to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.
The Mayoral Minute also requests officers develop measures to increase awareness of the Uluru Statement and the Voice to Parliament.
These measures include:
- Develop a community education strategy to provide the facts and to build community awareness about the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the Voice to Parliament and the call for a Makarrata Commission
- Consult with Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan Advisory Committee, the La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council, and the Gujaga Foundation and representatives of the traditional owners of the Sydney area with connection to Waverley in the design of the information and community education strategy
- Seek collaboration with other relevant and interested community and civil society organisations that have already been undertaking similar education programs
- Consult with the Inner West Council on their civic education program on the Uluru Statement
- Display the Uluru Statement in the atrium of Bondi Pavilion
- Investigate potential sources of funding for a local Waverley campaign.
Waverley Mayor, Paula Masselos, said Council supports the entire community in working together for reconciliation and that the Uluru Statement is a key movement in achieving that goal.
“This Mayoral Minute aims to strengthen our relationships with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents, community members, peak bodies and community organisations to increase awareness of the tenants of the Uluru Statement and the Voice to Parliament, which will give Indigenous communities a route to help inform policy and legal decisions that impact their lives,” Mayor Masselos said.
"Embedding a Voice in the Constitution would also importantly mean that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ voice can continue to be heard by successive Governments.”
Waverley Council will continue to update the community on measures it adopts to promote the Uluru Statement and Voice to Parliament.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is as follows. To listen to an audio of the statement, click here.
ULURU STATEMENT FROM THE HEART
We, gathered at the 2017 National Constitutional Convention, coming from all points of the southern sky, make this statement from the heart:
Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign Nations of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and possessed it under our own laws and customs. This our ancestors did, according to the reckoning of our culture, from the Creation, according to the common law from ‘time immemorial’, and according to science more than 60,000 years ago.
This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or ‘mother nature’, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown.
How could it be otherwise? That peoples possessed a land for sixty millennia and this sacred link disappears from world history in merely the last two hundred years?
With substantive constitutional change and structural reform, we believe this ancient sovereignty can shine through as a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood.
Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people. Our children are aliened from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene numbers. They should be our hope for the future.
These dimensions of our crisis tell plainly the structural nature of our problem. This is the torment of our powerlessness.
We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.
We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.
Makarrata is the culmination of our agenda: the coming together after a struggle. It captures our aspirations for a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia and a better future for our children based on justice and self-determination.
We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history.
In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.
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