Religious leaders call for First Nations Voice guaranteed by the Constitution
Five years ago today, the Uluru Statement from the Heart was brought to birth by a gathering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Statement asks for constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians through a constitutionally guaranteed voice in their own affairs.
Today leaders from various faith traditions across the country have joined together to support the statement and to call for First Nations Voice guaranteed by the Constitution. They describe this proposed reform as ‘necessary, right and reasonable’. The statement will be signed tomorrow morning, the beginning of National Reconciliation Week, at an event in Barangaroo in Sydney by nine religious leaders. They include the Rt Rev Chris McLeod, the National Aboriginal Bishop, who will sign the call on behalf of the Primate of the Anglican Primate, the Most Rev Geoffrey Smith. The other signatories will be:
- The Most Rev Mark Coleridge – President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
- The Ven Tenpa Bejanke – Chair of the Australian Sangha Association
- Ms Jillian Segal AO – President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry
- Mr Ajmer Singh Gill – President of the National Sikh Council of Australia
- Mr Prakash Mehta – President of the Hindu Council of Australia
- Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamad – Grand Mufti of Australia, Australian National Imams Council
- The Rev John Gilmore – President of the National Council of Churches in Australia
- The Rev Sharon Hollis – President of the Uniting Church in Australia Assembly
The religious leaders, representing the world’s major faith traditions, believe that the time is right for change. Their statement calls on Australia’s political leaders to take immediate bipartisan action to hold a referendum on a First Nations voice.
The full statement can be read here.