Our dreams start out invisible. This is inevitable. A few thoughts floating around in our head like butterflies, that we try and capture, which is often, just like butterflies, hard to do. It requires patience, observation, and stillness. Dreams maybe visible when we sleep, some clever unfolding and prompting in our unconscious selves trying to bring something to the surface. Thoughts take shape with images, sounds, colour, emotions. Maybe you have recurrent dreams that haunt or tease you. But these are not the dreams I am really thinking about. I am thinking about the dreams that we want to make visible, the kind of dream Martin Luther King had of liberation, or the dream aspirants have of being elected, or winning a prize and through discipline and talent aim to make their dreams come true.
I am dreaming of ways in which we can all level up and bring more equity to decision-making. It is one of the reasons I support the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the inherent result of Voice Treaty Truth and a First Nations presence in our national parliament. This dream will be informing my vote at the next Federal election. I cannot and will not support any political party or candidate that does not embrace the Uluru Statement. The current government’s parties commissioned the statement’s creation and all the consultation far and wide and then on presentation rejected it. It was yet another dark day in our nation … but it is not a dream that can be held hostage … it is one that is released for all of us to embrace. It is one we need to honour. It is an act of equity and justice. First, we have to hear the voice, which is why parliamentary representation is central; then we have to have a just settlement, a covenant, treaties and then we will be in a position to hear and receive the truth. The Uluru Statement is the culmination of what was an Indigenous Constitutional Convention – constitutional change is non- negotiable.
If the Voice part of the Uluru sequence invokes the realm of politics and the Treaty part conjures the world of law, then the Truth part aligns most closely with the domain of history. Kate Fullagar
Getting to equity recognises we do not all start from the same place, and adjustments are needed to address the imbalances. That is why separate First Nations voices to parliament is an equity issue for me. We must address the imbalances in our legislation and only legislators can pass those laws, and laws get passed in Parliament. Thomas Mayor’s words to his then seven-year-old son William, who put his hand on this heart and said, “the heart of the nation is in here.” This is our work now as we head into the historic election in which only one major party is agreeing to follow through on the Uluru Statement and offer a referendum to the Australian people for a substantive, not symbolic, constitutional recognition to constitutionally enshrine First Nations Voice – nothing less will suffice for this dream to become visible. For right now, we are living a lie, and in a nightmare for our First Nations. If the place you work for supports the Uluru Statement, if you have shares in companies that have signed their support, if you have signed up to the Statement – the time to mark your ballot in favour of the Uluru Statement and make this dream visible, is on the horizon.
Put your hand on you heart, feel the beat, breath in through your feet on the land, feel the pulse of our shared home. The Voice proposal is quite conservative, and the talents and ingenuity of leaders like Megan Davis with expert constitutional knowledge, have the proposal in the Uluru Statement as the simple premise of a First Nations representative body, with its primary function to present the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to the Parliament where decisions are made about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Nothing more and nothing less. Let us vote for equity. For dreams and for dreaming our way to justice. For visibility of the invisible heart of our nation.