In this, the 2019 NAIDOC Week, with the theme Voice. Treaty. Truth. Let’s work together for a shared future, we the peoples, of these lands now called Australia, declare that we:
- Recognise that First Nations peoples (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples) have never ceded sovereignty and we acknowledge and recognise First Nations peoples and Nations sovereignty of over 300 Nations in these lands now called Australia.
- Support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the long standing calls for a Truth Telling Commission, Treaty and Treaties and a Voice in and to Federal Parliament. These calls go back as far as the 1887 Maloga Petition, William Cooper's 1937 Petition to King George VI, the 1963 Yirrkala Bark Petitions, the 1988 Barunga Statement, and many more, and culminate most recently in the 2017 Statement from the Heart.
With these declarations, to the Commonwealth Government of Australia, and each member of Federal Parliament, we pray, request, urge, and petition for the Commonwealth Government to take the following actions and in this order:
(a) Hold a Truth Telling Commission to enable Australia to have a shared understanding of the true history of Australia and the impacts of colonisation and government policies on Aboriginal peoples.
(b) Internationally recognised Treaty and Treaties between the nation of Australia and the sovereign First Nations.
(c) The establishment of a First Nations Voice to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to have a greater say in policy and legislation which governs Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs and, in so doing, improves the autonomy and prosperity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
(d) The establishment of a process of further agreement-making between governments and First Nations, potentially through a Makarrata Commission.
We the peoples are sorry for the length of time, indeed decades and centuries, it has taken for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders voices to be listened to and requests to be actioned. We the peoples have waited long enough to see these requests actioned and we commend the 46th Parliament of Australia to undertake these requests in this term of Parliament.