Page 3724 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 23 November 2022

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forevermore. There has to be a permanent recognition of the beautiful people and culture we are and history that we want, to safely, and honestly bare and share together as an understood, heard, and united nation.

So, today, I propose we welcome the invitation from the Uluru statement and walk together on a path towards a referendum to enshrine the voice and lay the foundation for history. I would like to finish by quoting from the Uluru Statement:

Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people. Our children are aliened from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene numbers. They should be our hope for the future.

These dimensions of our crisis tell plainly the structural nature of our problem. This is the torment of our powerlessness.

We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.

In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.

We have a chance to build a better future for all of us, and this is what I am calling for with colleagues here in the ACT Legislative Assembly and the ACT government. I am calling on us all to walk together in support of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the referendum that will be coming next year.

Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (4.22): I am very pleased to rise in support of Dr Paterson’s motion that she has put forward and to broadly support the Uluru Statement from the Heart—its goals, its power, its wisdom and its forbearance, actually. The Uluru statement, beyond anything else, is incredibly generous. It demonstrates a level of patience, tolerance and restraint that is really quite astonishing and humbling.

We can all think of communities and nations around the world where tensions between different ethnic, religious or cultural groups have percolated over hundreds and hundreds of years, with neither side willing to take the slightest meaningful step towards compromise or the toning down of aggression or hostile rhetoric. We can see communities right now where those tensions and differences are becoming more pronounced and more divisive, not less.

Yet representatives of the Indigenous peoples of this country—whose ancestors walked this earth upwards of 60,000 years ago, whose ancestors watched from shore as a fleet of ships signalled the brutal end of the life they had always known, whose ancestors were unable to avoid passing down a legacy of physical and psychological

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