I grew up on Cammeraygal country in a northern suburb of Sydney popular with European migrants. I am now an Associate Professor at Macquarie University. With twenty years’ experience teaching and researching in higher education, I believe that learning is a collective process of social reform. I have been fortunate to work with Aboriginal colleagues, and have seen the value of higher education for connecting communities.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a gift. With over 60000 years of archeological evidence of life in Australia, it's time for First Nations to have a voice in parliament enshrined in the constitution. Australia has a troubled history in recognising and valuing First Nations peoples. Throughout this history, there have been consistent calls for a representative voice in decision making, the right to self-determination, treaty, and for the truth to be told about First Nations and Australian history. It is time for this to change.
Like the 1967 referendum, this is future-making work that will benefit all Australians. Enshrining the voice the parliament in the Constitution is consistent with best practice in other countries, and upholds the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I hope my children will be part of a future Australia that accepts the generosity of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.