This study guide on the Statement from the Heart was written by and for Second Peoples seeking to explore and pursue a truthful, just and meaningful relationship with First Peoples. In creating this study guide, the Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania is seeking to further its commitment towards First and Second Peoples walking jointly together in an intentional relationship it calls ‘Covenanting’.
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. They are:
- 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.