Prof. Megan Davis: Mundine’s National Press Club speech “inflammatory”
Cobble Cobble woman and Co-Chair of The Uluru Dialogue Professor Megan Davis. (Image credit: Ben Fry / The Uluru Dialogue)
ONE OF THE ARCHITECTS of the Uluru Statement from the Heart has described as “disappointing and really inflammatory” Warren Mundine’s labelling of the Statement as a symbolic declaration of war against modern Australia.
Interviewed by Gemma Veness on ABC News on Tuesday following Mr Mundine’s address at the National Press Club earlier in the day, Cobble Cobble woman and Co-Chair of the Uluru Dialogue, Professor Megan Davis, said “war” was not what First Nations people asked for via the Statement.
“We as the Uluru Dialogues have found this Press Club speech to be really disappointing and really inflammatory,” Prof. Davis said.
“The Uluru Statement from the Heart was an expression of peace and love to the Australian people. It's about belonging and unifying the nation. I find it really repugnant, the notion that it could be associated at all with the language of the declaration of war.
“I've worked for decades with people from across the world in my work with the United Nations, people who have lived and grown up in war-torn countries. That is not what our people asked for when they participated in the First Nations dialogues and also at the National Convention at Uluru.
“What our people wanted was peace, a coming together of the nation - that is what the Uluru Statement means. And it's very disappointing that it's been regarded as some sort of aggressive and angry display, or declaration of war upon modern Australia.
“Our people contributed to the development and the flourishing of a modern Australia. Our people's role in that is not always recognised or acknowledged, but we are a part of modern Australia. And this process, this constitutional process, was set up by modern Australia in Australian democracy. The question put to us was: what is meaningful recognition to you as First Nations peoples? And what our people said was: we want to be recognised; we want recognition through a Voice.
“It's very disappointing to see the no campaign resort to these kinds of inflammatory comments in a nation where our people have been grappling with recognition for 12 years. And here we are, three weeks before people head to the ballot box, where we're asking Australians to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future. That's what the Uluru Statement says.”
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