Northern Territory Deputy Branch Secretary Thomas Mayor was one of the wide range of
representatives who were party to composing and endorsing the Uluru Statement in 2017. All participants carefully considered the history of their struggle to date. In particular the struggle for an effective political voice since federalism. What became clear is that even when good, effective representative structures were established they would not survive the changes of Governments and politics.
However, the Constitution cannot be so easily altered and must be followed by all parties no matter what their political stripes. So, the plan is to win the political argument for a constitutional referendum. And it is that referendum that would decide whether or not a Voice to Parliament for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders would be enshrined in the Australian Constitution.
The original constitution made no recognition of the first people in this land. And it took another referendum (in 1967) for the original inhabitants to be included in the census. That referendum was overwhelmingly supported. In 1967 the struggle was to be counted; in the 2020s the struggle is to be heard.
The SA Branch, as part of the MUA, is committed to this process and will be working with like-minded organisations to campaign to this end. It is part of our commitment to social justice- a fair go- in the workplace and beyond.