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Unpacking the Statement from the Heart

  • 14 December 2022

I acknowledge the custodians of all the lands on which we gather across this country. I acknowledge our elders, wonderful guides who lead us to new insights and care for what is spiritual, physical and valuable in the spaces we live in.   In reflecting upon the Statement from the Heart [1], we need to explore what it is, what it is not, and how it works. The creative dynamic of the Statement is that it is a tool of justice and heart-healing. It is restorative justice writ large, involving the elements that make up the process leading to a resolution of the past and a creative response to the future by enacting justice in the present. What the Statement from the Heart is

It is about justice. The Statement invites everyone living on this land to join in creating a just country on a political, corporate and personal level — to work together to unpack the wrongs committed against the First Peoples of this land, and what we need to do to put them right.

Justice is the action of a mature people who, unsettled by the past, take the steps necessary to creatively resolve what can be resolved and embark on a future without repeating the mistakes of the past.

We are invited as First Peoples’ people to spend time on this process so we can stand and remain. This is a process of understanding who we are, how we respond to what has influenced and continues to influence our remaining, and the trauma accompanying that. We are invited to de-link[2] from the colonial overlays telling us that we are less than, and to re-exist the ancient wisdom within our country and within our bodies, to become more than enough for the situation we find ourselves in.

Non-indigenous people are included if they accept the invitation. By undertaking this process as individuals and communities, they will begin to understand how the trauma that haunts them across the generations was seen as appropriate actions by people within their own ancestral lines. As they struggle for the meaning of, and reconciliation with, their inherited past, they will begin to understand their place in this land and their relationship with those who were here before.

The Statement is about constitutional sovereignty[3]. The purpose of the Voice is to insert into the Constitution the sovereignty of First Peoples’ people, bringing together for the first time in the history of this country recognition that we have a