The Walking SA Board publicly declare our support for the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and for a Voice that will provide a mechanism for First Nations peoples to actively participate and advise on policies and laws which affect them.
History tells us that previous First Nations representative bodies have been continually dismantled by the commonwealth government at will. By writing YES in the referendum, Australians can establish a permanent representative body that advocates for the needs and aspirations of First Nations people.
As the peak body representing all types of walking in South Australia we know that First Nations communities are at the front line of climate impacts in this country. We share a deep love of our country and actively pursue sharing this reverence with all Australians. By ensuring that First Nations communities are represented in shaping national policies, we can not only take substantive steps to close the gap, but also take steps towards achieving better health, environment and climate outcomes for all.
We know the names of all the parks and of those generous European benefactors who bequeathed land back to the government on their passing, but we struggle to tell the stories of those who lived on these places pre European settlement. There is work to be done.
Walking SA supports all elements of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, recognizing the focus is on the First Nations Voice to Parliament, while not diminishing the need to begin work on negotiating Treaty and embracing Truth-telling.
We encourage those who have not read the Uluru statement to do so. it is a hopeful and generous document and I quote:
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 acknowledge the diversity of views on this issue and encourage all our members and the broader community to engage in these important processes in the hope that we all will be able to make an informed decision when voting in the upcoming Referendum on 14 of October 2023.
For more information contact:
Sharon Kelsey, Executive Director
Position statement as at September 2023.