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The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament

What is the Uluru Statement from the Heart?

What is the Uluru Statement from the Heart?

The Uluru Statement is an invitation from First Nations people to non-Indigenous Australians calling for constitutional change and structural reform. 

The Statement calls for:

1. Voice - the ‘establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution’.
2. Treaty and Truth - a ‘Makarrata Commission’ to supervise ‘agreement-making’ and ‘truth telling’. 

The Statement is available to read in multiple languages. See also a plain text version of the Statement.



There is a long history of First Nations people advocating for recognition and political representation stretching back to 1938 when Yorta Yorta man William Cooper collected more than 1800 signatures and petitioned the federal government for parliamentary representation. 

The current proposal timeline:

  • 1995 - The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) report Recognition Rights and Reform states constitutional reform is a priority.
  • 1998 - The Constitutional Convention debates proposals on whether Australia should become a republic and supports Indigenous recognition in a new preamble.
  • 2000 - The Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation's Roadmap To Reconciliation calls for recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to the constitution. 
  • 2012 - The Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples presents its report to the Gillard government finding strong support for recognition.
  • 2012–2017 – Reconciliation Australia conducts the Recognise campaign, designed to raise community awareness of Constitutional Reform. 
  • July 2015 – First Nations Leaders met with the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader to discuss substantive reform and practical difference for successful constitutional recognition, later releasing the Kirribilli Statement.
  • December 2015The Referendum Council was established to oversee deliberative regional dialogues designed and led by First Nations people.
  • 2017 – The Uluru Statement From the Heart is released by delegates to the First Nations Constitutional Convention held near Uluru in Central Australia.
  • 2022 – Prime Minister Anthony Albanese unveils the proposal for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament at the Garma Festival in East Arnhem Land.

 See an expanded timeline of Constitutional recognition for Australia's Indigenous peoples