Observations on life; particularly spiritual

“The Uluru statement from the heart” and racism

“The Uluru Statement from the Heart”A message from Martyn Isles of the Australian Christian Lobby.

“The Uluru Statement from the Heart” (see Appendix) is an invitation to the Australian people from First Nations Australians. It asks Australians to walk together to build a better future by establishing a First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution, and the establishment of a Makarrata Commission for the purpose of treaty making and truth-telling.

The Statement says, “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?”. I think that’s hyperbole because it’s probably never been more prominently asserted in history and society at large. The education curriculum includes it every year. Place names, national days, “Welcome to Country” (or “Acknowledgement of Country”) statements and so on. It is ubiquitous.

It continues, “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.” Now here we finally agree on something! I and the framers of this statement agree that the condition of our Indigenous peoples right now is a dreadful thing. It demands our close attention, our sincere efforts. And it’s not good, and it’s not good enough.

Carrying on, “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.” They go on to establish the First Nations Voice to Parliament enshrined in the Constitution and to call for a Makarrata Commission to supervise the process of a treaty.

And then they conclude, “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.” So you can see the notion that adopting this statement in full could mean a lot of things. The declaration of Sovereignty, for example, if that we to be seriously enacted on law, the consequences would be beyond measurement, so I can’t image that’s going to happen. But then there’s the spiritual declaration. And I raise that because I think it might not be the end of it. Is a statement of pagan spirituality going to appear in a constitutional amendment? I sure hope not. That would be something that you’d have to resist.

Indigenous Voice and treaties

There are two things which are clear in terms of what this could mean, however. First, is the Indigenous Voice – it’s in there. Second is the treaties. And that seems to be where the politics of this is going. Regarding the Indigenous Voice to Parliament – what that means is that you change the Constitution. And currently the Constitution defines three limbs of government – Legislative, Judicial, and Executive. And in the Legislative division it then sets up the House of Representatives, and Senate, the Parliament. And they create laws. In the Judicial division it sets up the courts. And in the Executive it vests executive power in the Queen (now King), exercised by the Governor General. And so the idea is to make a new institution. The House of Representatives, the Senate, and something else in that legislative limb, which is an Indigenous Voice. Some kind of body populated by Indigenous representatives, with some kind of office, and some link of influence, as yet undefined.  That’s the Indigenous Voice.

Then regarding the treaty or Makarrata – it could be several treaties or a single treaty. The content is undefined. The mechanism is undefined. One could speculate that the treaty might be enacted as a piece of legislation which creates certain legal rights and interests on the part of Indigenous groups in relation to the Federal Government.

Six concerns

Now I want the best for Indigenous communities, and I want their lives to be better, and I want real improvement in this area. And I sympathize with many of the legitimate concerns that underlie some of those who look on this process with a certain affection. But it makes me a little nervous. And I’ll explain to you why. It’s not because of the prospect of enhancing Indigenous affairs. It’s first because I do not trust the people who would be putting this together. Second, because I do not like division. Third, because indigenous people are already well represented in Canberra. Fourth, one Indigenous voice can’t represent the diversity of views held be Indigenous people. Fifth, because I think that the actual solutions to the problem are far less grandiose. Far less political. Far less about votes and institutions and Canberra. And there’re much closer to the ground. And there’re much more coalface, and there’re much harder and grittier, and longer term. And sixth, it perpetuates a spirituality that is based on creation, and not the Creator.

Trust

Regarding my first concern – I don’t trust these political types to avoid smuggling on two agendas. And they are the two agendas of the critical race theorists. First, to permanently divide people on the basis of skin color. Second, to implant some kind of trouble, some kind of cancer, into an otherwise good system to corrupt it and to start to tear it apart long-term. That is their modus operandi (pattern of behavior). That is how they work. They divide and they are cancer, gnawing way at good things and bringing them down. Look at the USA. This issue of race relations is destroying the country, because of these critical race theorist people. Look at South Africa. Its gotten into the institutions and the culture, where it is destroying the country. Australia does not have a cultural awareness of race relations in the same way as other countries. Because we were, up to 10 years ago, and probably still are, the most successful multicultural country on the earth, and nobody cared about race. But if course, that’s not how the critical race theorist’s work. That’s not how they get their revolution rolling and start gnawing away at things and dividing people up. This force, it needs a foothold. That’s why the recent education curriculum review saw critical race theory implanted right across the curriculum. They need footholds. And I think they are looking at this and smacking their lips and saying, “Aha! Here’s our chance”. And in fact, they are. We know they are. They’re everywhere in politics. So, that’s regarding trust. I don’t trust this to be ideologically pure, or freed of ideological baggage.

Division

Regarding division, that’s my second concern. Division is a very powerful force in any society. For example, the hatred and contempt which was unleashed on people who didn’t want to get vaccinated against COVID-19. When we should have just gone on with life and said, well there’s a minority who will choose that, and, carried on. But that’s not how it worked. The government set out the dog whistle on people. Ah, these people here are no good. Now this is a different context, of course. However, this is quite serious in the sense that you are splitting the government between racial groups. That’s a huge thing to do. It’s a massive division to entrench. That really concerns me.

The Referendum Council said that this was important because Indigenous people make up only 3% of the population and find it hard to have a say on issues of concern to them. I think that’s very simplistic. 4.5% of the current Parliamentarians are Indigenous. And most of them come from parts of the country with higher Indigenous populations, so they are representing the community in the parliament that already exists. And the system operates with a full knowledge that you can break down society into an infinite number of politically relevant identity groups, and you’re never going to have perfect representation of every single one of those groups. So, the system is set to accommodate for that. And that’s why in the law-making process you will find that the various interest groups and peoples that laws affect are consulted. Their consultation is recorded, and it is integrated into the law-making process. That’s a huge aspect of the entire work of Parliament. That’s why groups like the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) exist. We go in there and talk from the Christian perspective. And I must say the Christian perspective is pretty soundly ignored a lot of the time. But other groups don’t have that problem, especially Indigenous groups. So, there is already a Parliament operating for all. I’d rather focus on working that out nicely, rather than a new body that gives this kind of two-stream government, or divides the government on race grounds. That’s a huge deal from a division perspective in a culture. We are one race. We need to be clear about that.

“The Uluru Statement from the Heart”: Indigenous Voice, truth telling, and a treatyRepresentation

The government is proposing to change the Constitution via a Referendum to create this new body. And the Constitution is that document which currently establishes things like the Senate, the House of Representatives, the Governor General, the High Court, the Cabinet, elections, and the public service. All of the systems and institutions by which we are governed. Its been largely unchanged since 1901. They want to add something new in terms of these institutions. Why? Well to use their words, “to create a body made up of Indigenous representatives in order to provide input into the laws and policies that affect Indigenous people”. This call for more representation is my third concern.

But none of that is lacking in the current system as it already exists. For example, there is a minister for Indigenous Australians in the government, in the Parliament, in the Cabinet in fact. So when those highest-level Cabinet meetings are convened around which these policy decisions of government are made you have the Minister for Indigenous Australians right there represented in those high level decision making processes. There is also a Department of Indigenous Affairs. An office block full of staff and billions of dollars to spend on the advancement of Indigenous issues. When laws are created also parliament is structured in such a way that all stakeholders get input into the creation of laws. That is why you hear so much about inquiries and committees and so on. Input is invited as part of the process. It all gets on the record and policies are crafted accordingly. There’s also many Indigenous bodies giving input into the laws that are affecting Australians through those mechanisms and more. In fact, a number of these bodies are funded by the Department of Indigenous Affairs. And there are at least 11 politicians elected to Parliament with an Indigenous heritage. That’s about 5% of the total, which is an over-representation. Now I am not speaking against any of those things. But I am making this point. We already have a very comprehensive system of representing Indigenous concerns into our Parliament. Why amend the Constitution and take such a radical step to do something that is already happening? If there are unresolved problems, then perhaps these systems need to be fixed, not adding to. Or perhaps there are problems that the government is ill-equipped to solve. Adding yet more of this stuff in a most radical way sounds like they have run out of ideas.

Infinite diversity

What is the “Indigenous Voice”? I can take a case study of two women, both senators, both Indigenous currently in the Australian Parliament. One is Jacinta Price. She speaks passionately against wokeness. She is a conservative. She opposes the Voice. She lives in the Northern Territory. The other is Lydia Thorpe. She tried to swear her oath of allegiance by calling the Queen a coloniser and doing a black power salute. She’s hard left. She lives in Victoria. She is in favor of the Voice. What then is the Indigenous Voice? Is it not as absurd as pretending that there is a white voice? Is it not that people are infinitely diverse in far more ways than these woke categories of skin color and indigeneity and various other things. Is that not simplistic? Do those categories not actually fail? This infinite diversity is precisely the reason we have a parliament that is deliberately set up from the beginning to govern in the interests of all Australians. The failure to recognize the diversity of views amongst Indigenous people is my fourth concern.

Too grandiose

My fifth concern is that the actual solutions are far less grandiose. There’re close to the ground. They are unglamorous. They are not up in the clouds, winning votes in political slogans. There are Indigenous communities who want to self-determine, who want to get ahead. Who want to make a better life for their children. I’ve been to some of them and spent a lot of time speaking at length with elders. And I’ve organized support for some of the people who are working closely with them, day in a day out on a long slow road to a better life and a better community. And I respect those people who are there doing the hard work.

In a trip I did in November 2020, when I spoke to Indigenous elders in a community that really did want to get ahead and had a plan for its future and economic independence, they told me that the government was their problem. The government wouldn’t let them do what they needed to do. That it was a bog of regulation, which was stifling everything in red tape. And they told me story after story, which would put your hair on-end on terms of this mess of corruption – that is the government institutions which are administering Indigenous affairs. And it’s because they are so full of money – they don’t know what to do with it, and like a honey pot attracts bees, money will attract corruption. And the stories would put the most dysfunctional developing country to shame in terms of corruption. And these people are infantilised (treated as children) on leases. They don’t even own their own land – Council owns it, which is not the same as the people owning it. And they’re on a leash – their dependency is entrenched, and they can’t break free of it. They tell me that the government is the problem. And the things that I saw, if that stuff was happening in major cities to influential people, it would be all over the news. But it’s hidden in the outback. And these communities want to do better, and they need support to do better. But they need support from people who care, and not from bureaucracy. They need missionary types – those who are on the ground, living a life of sacrifice, with a heart for the welfare of the people and the necessary connections to get the help that those people need to advance. Then they need to be given the freedom to pursue what they need to pursue, and they need to be allowed to take responsibility for their destiny, free from the shackles of government bureaucracy, rules, laws making, and corruption. The government needs to let good people do good things. It needs to incentivize them if possible. We need a generation of people who are prepared to go into Indigenous communities and do the personal work of help. The hard, the gritty, the long-term, the slow work. As missionaries used to do. That was a big part of what they did. I am not saying it be the same. And that’s what hits me when I go to these communities. I’m encouraged by how many good people are doing good things in these parts of the world. But I’m also discouraged by the overbearing presence of government regulation and ineptitude. So, the problem is more top heavy and the solution is more bottom heavy. And we’re getting that pretty wrong here.

A pagan statement

My sixth concern is that the spiritual aspect of the Uluru Statement from the heart gets little attention. There is a distinct spirituality here. And spirituality is never neutral. In fact, Christians must know that the most significant thing about any issue is its spiritual quality. And this statement clearly asserts it is a pagan statement (see definition of paganism in this post). Paganism is a spirituality that is in and of creation itself. And it is bold, if not bolder than the spiritual preamble to the Constitution of Australia, which asserts that we are – the people of the colonies in 1900 – were humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God. Spiritual frameworks are not neutral. Paganism is very real. Its spirits are real. The realms into which it dabbles are real. Dreamtime spirituality is a serious thing which we fail to take seriously. And we say, “Oh well it’s cultural and its some kind of white supremacy to speak against it or to criticize that aspect”. Of course it isn’t – it’s a spiritual issue. I know, not just in theory but through very revealing conversations that I’ve have with Indigenous Christians who have been tied up with all of this stuff, with the Dreamtime spirits, the witch doctors, the animism and all that kind of stuff and more besides. I want Indigenous people to be helped and advantaged and it’s precisely why I have to critique this aspect of the culture. And there is no harm in learning things from different cultures, and I think this is one thing that we can constructively say about Indigenous culture. A major concern I have with some of the advocacy in this space is in the name of cultural preservation they seek to keep Indigenous people in paganism. And they treat other faiths, particularly Christianity, as some kind of ‘colonial influence’ to be repelled and fought off. This is a spiritual fight. It’s quite real. And people fail to acknowledge that a huge number of Indigenous communities have actually adopted Christianity and are Christian communities.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice

There are specific words which the Prime Minister has suggested might be added to the Constitution if a Referendum was successful. And there’re surprisingly brief.
“1. There shall be a body called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
2. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to the Parliament and the executive government on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
3. The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have powers to make laws with respect to the composition, functions, powers and procedures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.”

That’s it. What would be the practical effect of that going into the Constitution? The detail is so lacking that the truth is nobody knows and if they tell you that they do know, then they are lying. But the term “executive government” has no obvious meaning. In fact, it could entrance a system whereby the Voice is directly influencing the public service without Parliamentary scrutiny. Second, how are the members appointed? By whom are they appointed? Who has that authority? Third, how does someone qualify to become a member and who comes up with the qualifications and how are they changed? Fourth, what is the force of this body’s recommendations? Can the government, for example, act in a way that completely contradicts them? Fifth, how are the recommendations formulated? Is it a voting body? Is there some kind of unanimous vote or majority vote? Or is it a non-voting body? Is it something completely different? Will there even be votes? Sixth, what is a policy affecting Indigenous Australians on which they are supposed to make representations? Surely there’s a strong argument from a left perspective that all policies affect Indigenous Australians because this is their nation. Seventh, can this Voice be dissolved? Can it be closed down? The answer seems to be relatively clear on that one, which is no it can’t be.

A political voice

The extent to which the government is saying “Oh just trust us and trust the system that will create this thing”, it astounding. Nobody has any clue how this will play out. But I reckon I can take a guess on just one aspect of it. Lots of things I couldn’t guess. But one aspect of it I could guess. Whatever it ultimately looks like it won’t actually be an Indigenous Voice. Because there’s no such thing. It will be a political voice. You take a body for example like the Human Rights Commission. One of these many government organisms that are set up for a noble cause of “human rights”. No, a particular political interpretation of human rights in order to advance a particular side of politics. That’s the truth. And appointees to this Voice will come from the Canberra set, and there is such a thing, or they will have connections into it. And they will be chosen for their political perspectives. And it will become a woke voice to parliament. It will become a critical race theory voice to parliament. Those with the approved view of Indigenous issues. Hint, it’s probably not going to be the Jacinta Prices of the world. We’ve all seen how the politics of race division is gnawing away at the social fabric of countries like South Africa and the USA. And if you have Kiwi friends (New Zealanders), ask them too because it’s getting worse there. The activists want to bring that same strife, that same division, that same tension, that same resentment, that same social cancer, that same divide and conquer mechanism here to Australia. That’s ultimately what wokeness is. It’s a force to tear down. It’s a force to destroy and division is one of the most powerful ways to do it. And the power of this political voice will be in styling it as an Indigenous Voice. No government is going to stand against it for fear of being called racist. And they won’t be able to get rid of it. It’s a familiar play from a political movement that consistently uses minorities as its political battering ram. Not to help them, but to gain power.

“The Uluru Statement from the Heart”: Indigenous Voice, truth telling, and a treatyPresuppositions

Before I finish the subject, I want to make a general point about race divisions and this fact that race shouldn’t divide us. The whole idea of this voice comes out of a particular set of presuppositions, and it is this view that white people and people of color are so divided that an institution of general function like a democratic parliament cannot act in the best interest of both. The critical race theorists preach to us about this conflict which we cannot escape which is part of our very nature. They say that we cannot presume to speak for each other. We cannot presume to act in each other’s best interests. You hear this in the notion that men can’t speak on things that affect women, obviously abortion being the key one. A man can’t have an opinion on abortion because he’s not a woman, and it’s all about her body. Or that white people can’t speak about back issues, and so on. And it’s embedded in this Indigenous Voice notion.

The reality is that anyone can tell the truth. Anyone can help. Anyone, because we’re all people first. And you don’t need a particular skin color to tell the truth. But they say no. A white politician cannot represent colored constituents. A person of color will not be fairly treated in a white majority institution like a university or a court or a parliament or by the police. That’s why you need affirmative action stuff. A mixed-race society will never be an equal society. A white person will never understand what is necessary for the well-being of a person of color. Why do they say this? Well, it’s because it comes down to something very post-modern. My truth is not the same as the truth of a colored person. We do not have access to the truth, only our truths. That’s post-modern thinking. It’s left us without an author of truth who is outside of us in whose truth we live. Objective truth, the truth. We don’t have that. Its only left us with ourselves and our truths. And my truth as a white person they say is white supremacy. I’m not joking. For example, I’ve recently read Robin DiAngelo’s “White fragility (supremacy)”. That’s the point – that every white person is a white supremist and that is the center of their whole being and they cannot escape it. That’s their truth and of course if that’s my truth then it is profoundly oppressive to the truth of a person of color. They are oppressed by my truth and it’s an inescapable conflict and a profound barrier to our shared humanity that cannot be broken. I’m not exaggerating. This is really what they say. Under this worldview, racism is a human condition. It’s not about individual acts of racial prejudice. It’s about the whole racist being that comes from within us. That is baked within us, and we’re imprisoned to it, and we’re divided by it.

The truth

But none of this can be true. It can’t be in terms of the truth. These are all lies. Why? It comes down to something very simple, as something which Christianity reveals to us. Because one God made one man from whom are all races. What does that mean? First, it means that there is one ultimate race, humans. Second, it means that there is one ultimate truth, God, the Author. Third, it means that there is one ultimate good for all, which we can all access, which we should all pursue, which we can all proclaim, no matter our skin color, our identity or anything else. And it is in fact to seek God and to obey God. There are no ultimate barriers. There’s no ultimate conflict. There’s no difference of truth. Notice how all these things come out in Acts 17:25-28, “… He Himself [God] gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us. ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’” (NIV). Note, one God and one truth. And one human race – one humanity. One ultimate good for all – to seek God. There can be a government for all, seeking the good of all because there’s one ultimate good.

The best solution

Finally, if we are really trying to find a baseline from which to advance all of this – if we’re really trying to find a way to reset the relationship, to start afresh with a right view of things and a vision – there is one solution only. And it’s the radical Christian idea which changes everything. Which changed the world. It is forgiveness. Both Indigenous culture and the modern west need to learn something from Jesus. And I say, “and the modern west”, because we’ve forgotten forgiveness as well.  The Bible says, “He [God] does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Ps. 103:10-12NIV). How else could we ever relate to God in any way except that He utterly and totally forgives, and wipes out the transgression, and we put the past to one side and start anew. The fact is we absolutely couldn’t. Hence, we’re commanded “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Eph. 4:32). That’s the secret. But if we’re doing it, we no longer need a sorry day. Sorry has been said.

The overwhelming majority, indeed surely all the nation want to move forward, and want to make things right, and look to a better day. But if we’re doing that through the lens of recompense for wrongs, it will never be enough, because the wrongs are too grave. If we’re doing that through the lens of trying to undo the past, it will never work because the past happened. And this is the power of forgiveness. Otherwise, it will be sorry every year. And striving and endless despondency. Imagine running any other relationship like that. Imagine running a marriage like that! Sorry day. Apologising afresh on the anniversary of a wrongdoing, every single year. It’d be toxic. The marriage would fall apart. It wouldn’t work. It doesn’t work. Forgiveness is the missing ingredient. It’s time to forgive and to forget on all sides, and just live in unity as one people together. Because I think we all want to. The goodwill exists, but agendas and all this political nonsense gets in the way.

Discussion

The “Uluru Statement from the Heart” is very broad and very imprecise. And there are many reasons for concern including trust (the likelihood of critical race theory being perpetuated), division (perpetuating division on racial grounds), representation (Indigenous people already have plenty of representation to Parliament), infinite diversity (one Indigenous voice can’t represent the diversity of views held be Indigenous people), too grandiose (more government institutions won’t help Indigenous people), and it’s pagan basis (it is a spirituality that is based on creation, and not the Creator).

It looks like it will be a political voice. We need to beware of the post-modern ideas and presuppositions behind it. They are sinister ideas. And the government might get this wrong and it might be the beginning of sorrows. But remember that those of us who are Christians, are color blind in Christ, because we are all one in Christ Jesus (“There is neither Jew nor Gentile … for you are all one in Christ Jesus”, Gal. 3:28). All believers are equal before God regardless of their ethnicity or nationality. Unity in Christ transcends ethnic distinctions. There are no racial distinctions in Christ. Jesus brings peace to relationships. He brings peace both vertically with God and horizontally with humanity. When Gentiles and Jews were reconciled with God, they were also reconciled with each other (Eph. 2:11-22).

How can this statement help “Australians to walk together to build a better future”? It aims to set up a “First Nations Voice to Parliament”, when this already exists in the very structure of the parliamentary process. And it provides for “treaty making and truth-telling”. But the truth is that we are all one human race. Our skin color is a minor difference between us.

Although the Uluru Statement from the Heart was prepared to address alleged racism, it actually creates and perpetuates racism! How ironic!

And what about other disadvantaged people groups? Will we also have an immigrants Voice? And a Homeless Voice? And a LGBT Voice? Why only give this option to Indigenous people? That is favoritism and partiality.

It’s more important to know that forgiveness and reconciliation with God eliminates racism.

Conclusion

Let’s be wary of the move to change the Constitution for destructive political purposes that are camouflaged under the guise of being anti-racism. Race must not divide us.

Only a common faith in God can unite us.

Appendix: The “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.”

Acknowledgement

This post comes from Martyn Isles of the Australian Christian Lobby.
Uluru Statement from the heart.
Race must not divide us.

Posted, October 2022

Also see: Is “Acknowledgement of Country” showing respect or affirming paganism?

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