Upholding the Big Ideas: options for discussion

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.

Download Upholding the Big Ideas [PDF, 24KB]

Download Journey from the Heart [PDF, 124KB]

Download Hearing Indigenous Voices [PDF, 251KB]

Download Makarrata [PDF, 164KB]

Download A Fuller Declaration of Australia's Nationhood [PDF, 113KB]


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