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Professor Megan Davis: How the Uluru Statement impacts views on the Voice

Joseph Guenzler -

Yes Campaign leader Professor Megan Davis says the Uluru Statement from the Heart has the power to shift voters' stance on the Voice.

The proud Cobble Cobble woman, Co-Chair of the Uluru Dialogue and Balnaves Chair in Constitutional Law at the University of New South Wales said reading the Uluru Statement from the Heart to people who are still making up their mind about how they will vote can have a dramatic effect on their chosen position on the Voice.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart came after a significant gathering of hundreds of Indigenous people from various regions of Australia at Uluru on 26 May 2017.

Unlike previous appeals addressed solely to politicians, the statement was intended for the wider Australian community.

This decision stemmed from the perceived failure of politicians to effectively address the numerous challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and to avoid the adversarial and ideological conflicts often seen in Canberra.

"We are speaking to people in the city and in the country across the nation," Professor Davis said.

"Many people are not aware of the Uluru Statement. Many haven't heard of it before; they don't know it was an invitation to them, to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.

"They don't know we issued the Uluru Statement as a hand of friendship, an olive branch and an expression of love.

"Once they hear or read the Statement, and they understand the extensive process that led to it through the Uluru Dialogues, they are much more open to it and supportive of a YES vote.

"We explain to Australians that we wanted to avoid politicians just taking the invitation and not acting on it, like the many calls for policy and structural changes that have come before.

"That's why the Statement was issued to the Australian people, not the politicians, because First Nations Peoples have faith in their fellow Australians.

"So, when you read the Statement to Australians, and they understand the process; we are seeing them shift.

"We see that in our focus groups and on the ground in the many town halls, community briefings, and one on one conversations we are having across the country."

During the meetings, the main focus was to explore the ideal form of Constitutional Recognition for Indigenous people in Australia's most significant document.

In response to these discussions, the delegates put forth the Uluru Statement from the Heart, expressing their desire for a "Voice" in Parliament concerning policies and laws that directly affect their lives.

Their motivation behind this call lies in the significant disparities faced by Indigenous peoples, including shorter life expectancies, high incarceration rates, and deepening crises in Indigenous health, education, and living conditions.

Enshrining the Voice in Australia's Constitution safeguards it from potential removal by future governments.

Given that politicians lack the power to change the Australian Constitution, such an alteration necessitates a referendum vote by the Australian people.

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