As the largest consensus of First Nations peoples on a proposal for substantive recognition in Australian history, the road to the Uluru Statement from the Heart is a long one even without mentioning the decades of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander activism that came before it.
See the timeline of events since the invasion of our land in 1770. Learn from the history to understand the importance of The Uluru Statement from the Heart for present and future generations of Australians.
The Formation of the Referendum Council
The Referendum Council was appointed in 2015 by then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten. Its purpose was to advise on progress toward a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution.
The Council held First Nations Regional Dialogues across Australia to discuss constitutional recognition with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The Dialogues were a series of meetings between December 2016 and May 2017. The purpose was to reach an agreement on how to formally ‘recognise’ First Nations people in the Constitution. The Dialogues also provided an opportunity to discuss, understand and prioritise options for recognition.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart
The Uluru Statement from the Heart 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.