A Consensus from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
August 5, 2020
The Uluru Statement from the Heart represents an overwhelming consensus of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the request for a Voice to Parliament and the establishment of a Makarrata Commission.
This is because the Uluru Statement was achieved through the Referendum Council process, which established a series of First Nations Regional Dialogues, which culminated in the national constitutional convention at Uluru. There were 12 Regional Dialogues held across the country, from Dubbo, to Hobart, to Broom and to Thursday Island.
This process was unprecedented, as it was the first time a constitutional convention had been convened for and with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. As part of the dialogue process, 1200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates were represented to express their views on constitutional reform and establish a consensus.
According to the final Referendum Council report, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were required to be the core representation within these dialogues.
The dialogues considered a variety of different reform proposals that were set out in the Referendum Council’s Discussion Paper. This included a statement of recognition, the removal of section 25 from the Constitution, amending or deleting the ‘race power’ in Section 51 of the Constitution, inserting a constitutional prohibition against racial discrimination and establishing a Voice to Parliament.
The First Nations Regional Dialogues overwhelming supported a Voice to Parliament, agreement-making through Treaty and Truth-telling. This support shows that the endorsement of the Uluru Statement from the Heart at the Constitutional Convention represents the greatest consensus for reform from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.
Support the Uluru Statement from the Heart by signing up to From the Heart.
You can also find out more about the consensus established by the Uluru Statement in the Referendum Council’s final report.