Do you know about the ‘Uluru Statement from the Heart’? With the Prime minister’s comments, it’s now in the news. There is a move for a referendum. If this happened, how would you vote?
Don Hayward, Pastor at the Aboriginal Berean Christian Church, has concerns people won’t be informed regarding the statement, it’s history and heart. The development of the statement followed the ‘Aboriginal way’. In 2016-17 there were extensive dialogues in 13 regional centres across Australia. Many Aboriginal grassroots voices were heard, not just the louder more political leaders. These dialogues were gathered and represented in 2017 to form the Uluru statement. There is an important intent to the statement summed up in the Yolngu word ‘Makarrata’. This is ‘the coming together after a struggle.’ It is an invitation for adversaries to find a way forward after things have gone wrong. Not a way without cost though. Makarrata literally means a spear penetrating.
We should begin to do our homework on the Uluru statement. There is a website ulurustatement.org dedicated to informing people. Pastor Don’s recommendation is we take time to engage the dialogues. Given we are in South Australia, at least the Adelaide dialogue. My sense is while this matter may not be front of mind for all, we know it is serious, and we hope for a better future together with Indigenous Australians. Makarrata may not be easy, but it is hopeful. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes want to find a way forward. May we share the same heart too.