The 2022 federal election result sends a clear message: Australia wants change. We want a compassionate, forward-thinking government that will listen to First Nations voices, hear what we’re saying, and act.
Children’s Ground congratulates the incoming Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for committing to implement the Uluru Statement From the Heart in full, following five years of determined campaigning from First Nations people across the country. In his acceptance speech on Saturday night, Prime Minister Albanese’s first commitment was to First Australians: “Together we can embrace the Uluru Statement from the Heart. We can answer its patient, gracious call for a Voice enshrined in our Constitution. Because all of us ought to be proud that amongst our great multicultural society we count the oldest living culture in the world.”
No other incoming Prime Minister has ever used their election victory speech to put First Nations peoples, culture and issues so central to the incoming government’s priorities. This government now has the opportunity to create a legacy piece that will span current and future generations.
We congratulate all First Nations people who have been elected. We recognise Hon. Linda Burney as a strong First Nations woman who will be the Minister for Indigenous Australians. We acknowledge the tireless work of Hon. Ken Wyatt who leaves parliament. We recognise the ALP, the Greens and all independent candidates who have advocated for our rights as First Nations people and for climate action to protect our precious lands and seas.
It is time to honour the truth of our past, the cultures of these great lands and seas and to walk together in a shared future. As Minister Linda Burney has stated, this is our opportunity to mature as a nation.
National Reconciliation Week 2022 starts at the end of this week. We look forward to working with the incoming government to put in place the key foundations towards true reconciliation – truth telling, self-determination, cultural rights and our voice enshrined for future generations at the heart of the government.
At the same time, we need action on the critical issues that face our communities: health, education, employment and cultural sustainability. It is essential that government fully supports us to live as First Nations people – in our communities, on our Homelands and protecting and strengthening our First Languages. We need real pathways to economic opportunities where we live. This is the only way there will be meaningful reconciliation and sustainable improvements for First Nations people. The policies of the past haven’t worked; it’s time for a new approach. The Children’s Ground Approach is our design, our voice and our governance, protecting our cultures and languages and achieving outcomes in improved education, health and employment. We will work with the government to invest in our future, to support Children’s Ground and to support communities who wish to establish Children’s Ground.
Australia is at a watershed moment in its history. The election has proven there is a dramatic mood for change. Our Elders have been seeking change; our ancestors sought change and we are seeking change. We are many nations. We are many voices. We commit to working with the new government to ensure that First Nations communities everywhere can have their voices heard and deliver their own solutions. The future of Australia, our strength as a single nation begins with the strength and justice for all of our First Nations.