In May 2017 the Uluru Statement from the Heart was released. It represents a national Indigenous consensus position on Indigenous constitutional recognition, arising from a constitutional convention of 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates. In 2018, the institute and Uphold and Recognise jointly established an Indigenous policy program with the intention of developing options for implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
Upholding the Big Ideas provides detailed proposals progressing the conversation about constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The project produced four policy papers:
Journey from the Heart
Hearing indigenous Voices
A Fuller Declaration of Australia’s Nationhood.
These papers provide a set of options for implementing the recommendations of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the Referendum Council’s final report, including an amendment to the Australian Constitution to make provision for a First Nations’ Voice to Parliament and adopting a Declaration of Recognition outside of the Constitution. It is intended that these options might form the basis for further consultation with Australia’s Indigenous peoples and in turn inform Australia’s parliamentarians of constitutionally conservative options realising Indigenous aspirations.
Collaborators on the project included David Allinson (Uphold and Recognise), Michael Casey, Parashar Das (Uphold and Recognise), and Damien Freeman.
The project was also assisted by an advisory group of eminent Australians including:
Professor Greg Craven AO GCSG: Australian Catholic University
Adam Bray: Shell Australia
Professor Megan Davis: University of New South Wales
Danny Gilbert: Gilbert and Tobin
Sean Gordon: Gidgee Group; Chair, Uphold and Recognise
Nolan Hunter: Kimberley Land Council
Professor Marcia Langton AM: University of Melbourne
Ian McGill: Allens
Gemma McKinnon: University of New South Wales
Nyunggai Warren Mundine AO: Nyungga Black Group
Noel Pearson: Cape York Institute
Rachel Perkins: Blackfella Films
Professor Cheryl Saunders AO: University of Melbourne
Professor Anne Twomey: University of Sydney
Geoffrey Winters: Chalk & Behrendt
Upholding the Big Ideas: Options for Discussion was launched at Parliament House, Sydney by the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG on 26 June 2018.
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