Statement from the Heart: Voice. Treaty. Truth.
One of the objectives of Churches Together SA is to encourage and enable the Member Churches in the light of the Gospel to be a prophetic voice to each other and the community “promoting reconciliation and healing between indigenous and non-indigenous people; and acting in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people” (CTSA Constitution 7.1 iv)
“The Statement from the Heart emerged from The First Nations National Constitutional Convention at Uluru in May 2017. It was the coming together of 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders to articulate the nature of reforms desired by First Nations, and advise parliament on a pathway toward a successful referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution.
The Statement from the Heart called for two reforms:
- The establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Australian Constitution to empower First Peoples to have a greater say in policy and legislation which governs their affairs and, in so doing, improve their autonomy and prosperity.
- The establishment of a Makarrata Commission to;
- Supervise a process of agreement-making, or treaty, between governments and First Nations, and
- Provide a means for truth-telling about the history of Australia’s First Peoples.
The CTSA website will continue to make links to resources that will be helpful for Member Churches and congregations including:
Statement from the Heart website
The downloadable study guide on the Statement from the Heart, which was written by and for Second Peoples seeking to explore and pursue a truthful, just and meaningful relationship with First Peoples. Either on your own or in a group, you can explore over six sessions what First Peoples have said about Voice.Treaty.Truth in the Statement from the Heart. There is also a Facilitator’s Companion Guide for a study group. (Author Tim Molineux, Justice and International Mission, Vic/Tas UCA Synod).
A voice in the wilderness 8 part study guide on the Statement from the Heart (free downloadable PDF) written by Celia Kemp, Anglican Board of Mission’s Reconciliation Coordinator. As well there is a leader’s guide.
Crying Out – A Response to Exploring the Statement from the Heart and Care for the Environment
(Roman Catholic and Uniting Church dialogue in South Australia)
The NCCA has signed a joint resolution in support of the Uluru Statement, 27th May 2022.
“On this day in 2017, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples came together at Uluru and asked Australians to walk with them towards a better future. Through the Uluru Statement from the Heart, Indigenous Australians asked for constitutional recognition through a constitutionally guaranteed voice in their own affairs. As leaders representing diverse religious communities, we declare our support of the Uluru Statement and its call for a First Nations Voice guaranteed by the Constitution. We endorse this reform as necessary, right and reasonable. Indigenous Australians must now be afforded their rightful place in the Australian Constitution. There have been many processes and much work completed. The one thing left to do is let the Australian people have their say. We call on political leaders to take immediate action to hold a referendum on a First Nations Voice.”
History, Truth Telling, & The Uluru Statement from the Heart (webinar by Thursday 21 July 2022, now available on Youtube) – an initiative of the Uniting Church National History Society in association with the University of Divinity and the School of Indigenous Studies, bringing together Indigenous leaders and historians.
Aunty Prof Dr Anne Pattel-Gray: Statement from the Heart
Rev Dr Chris Budden, Voice.Treaty.Truth symposium
Auntie Denise Champion, Voice.Treaty.Truth symposium
Related resources and links
From the Heart
“From the Heart is a campaign for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament that is enshrined in the Constitution. It is now time for the Australian people to come together through a referendum and make this fair and practical change”.
Read the first edition online here
First Nations SA is the independent and democratically elected body to represent Traditional Owners of Country and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in South Australia.
A most insightful article by Walter Brueggemann on the Ethical Dignity of the Other, tracking the way ‘European’ colonisation was wholly unappreciative of local, native cultures and learning. That lack of appreciation led to the conclusion that “other peoples” were the unacceptable “other,” that is, different in ways that were therefore unfamiliar, unwelcome and dangerous. It led to the dismissal and/or elimination of the “other” that did not meet European expectations and requirements, taking the form of colonialism, enslavement, or genocide.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation to the Australian people. We ask Australians to accept our invitation to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future. We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution and a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making and truth-telling about our history.