Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group endorses the Uluru Statement from the Heart and supports the Statement’s invitation for all of us to work together for the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander sovereignty and a future that connects us to each other. We wholeheartedly support the establishment of a First Nations’ Voice to be enshrined in the Constitution and a Makarrata Commission to lead to truth telling and treaty making.
BMRSG supports this statement for 5 key reasons.
- To set the scene for our work with newcomers to Australia who are seeking asylum and refuge, we should first acknowledge the original, First Nations’ people of this country.
- It’s the fair and right thing to do and in accordance with BMRSG core values of a fair and open hearted Australia.
- It is timely. In 1967 Australia voted for First Nations’ people to have a vote and be counted in the census. Its time for them to have a voice which is underpinned in our Constitution.
- First Nation peoples and people seeking asylum have in common the experience of racism and breaches of their human rights.
- Refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia need to know that, there is more to Australia, than they may have been aware.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a national First Nations statement that was developed by 250 delegates at the National Constitutional Convention in May 2017, following a consultation process involving 13 regional dialogues across Australia and 1,200 representatives. The Statement outlines three strategies (Voice to Parliament, Truth Telling and Treaty making) which support the process of self-determination essential to the wellbeing of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
BMRSG asks that the Australian government listen to this powerful call and act to constitutionally enshrine a First Nations Voice to parliament so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples all over Australia, including the Blue Mountains’ Gundungurra and Darug communities, can have a voice on the laws, policies and programs that impact their everyday lives. We support the establishment of the Makarrata Commission to supervise the truth-telling and treaty making that must occur before we can all move towards a future where we share an identity and all, including newcomers, feel proud to be Australian.
BMRSG commits to action, to work with our local community to support the structural reform outlined in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Through all our activities across the Blue Mountains and NSW, BMRSG will endeavour to communicate the invitation within the Uluru Statement from the Heart.