Uphold & Recognise is an Indigenous-led organisation which promotes discussion of how Australia can recognise Indigenous Australians without disturbing the way that the Constitution operates.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart and the Referendum Council’s final report call for Indigenous Australians to be empowered to take responsibility for their own affairs. They make three main suggestions:
- A Voice to Parliament will ensure Indigenous peoples have a constitutionally guaranteed say in the laws and policies that affect them. Much like how the Indigenous Parliament in Norway works for the Sami, their Indigenous peoples.
- A ‘Makarrata’ Commission will help us ‘come together after our struggle’, and oversee agreement making and truth-telling about Australia’s history - much like how the Waitangi Tribunal has helped reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous New Zealanders.
- A Declaration of Recognition, outside of the Constitution, would give expression to what it means to be an Australian today. We should all be proud of Australia's Indigenous heritage, our British institutions, and our multicultural achievement. Much like how the United States’ Declaration of Independence is something children learn, and become proud of, a Declaration of Recognition would be an important symbolic document to complement the practical reforms of a Voice to Parliament and a Makarrata Commission.
Uphold & Recognise is a grass-roots and entirely self-funded organisation. We have received support from a number of organisations, including Westpac, Reconciliation Australia and the Australian Catholic University; but now, we call on you to help us continue our vital work.