UOW pledges support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart
University reaffirms commitment to equitable and fair future for First Nations people
The University of Wollongong (UOW) has formally pledged its support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart, with a formal statement approved by the University Council last week (Friday, 8 April).
The decision reflects the University’s commitment of its First Nations students and staff, and ongoing support for the process of truth-telling and Constitutional reform that underpins the Uluru Statement.
Ms Jaymee Beveridge, Executive Director (Indigenous Strategy) at UOW and Director of Woolyungah Indigenous Centre, said she was proud to see the University embracing the Uluru Statement.
“This is more than just a show of goodwill. This is an institution being courageous and standing up for necessary change,” Ms Beveridge said.
“Fundamentally, this is UOW saying, ‘It’s time to do the right thing, it’s time to unite the divide!’. UOW is now illuminating the invitation to all our students, staff and partners, all Australian people to bring on a referendum. This is beyond being an ally, it’s actually driving the change to educate and provide platforms for truth-telling and healing.
“This campaign could easily have been overlooked, but instead the entire leadership team, from Council to the Executive, are all driving forces in prioritising UOW’s support.”
Professor Patricia M. Davidson, Vice Chancellor of UOW, said the University was honoured to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart and was committed to the change needed to ensure an equitable and fair society for all.
“The rights of our First Nations people as a whole, as well as the staff and students here at UOW, are absolute and indelible. The Uluru Statement is a necessary step to ensuring we move forward as a nation and that First Nations people finally receive the Voice to Parliament and the Voice in the Australian Constitution that they need and so richly deserve.
“We are committed to the truth-telling and reconciliation that is fundamental to this journey. Supporting the Uluru Statement goes hand-in-hand with promoting safe, respectful and inclusive communities where our common commitment to equity, diversity, reconciliation and human dignity is lived by all.”
Ms Christine McLoughlin AM, Chancellor of UOW, said the University Council’s support for the Uluru Statement is consistent with UOW’s commitment to First Nations Communities.
“Voice, Treaty and Truth are at the heart of the Uluru Statement. Ensuring that our First Nations people are genuinely represented, and have their voice respected at a national level, over the laws and policies that affect them, is fundamental to moving forward as a just, equitable modern nation,” Ms McLoughlin said.
“As a University, we are proud to support the Uluru Statement, and to further assert our commitment to our First Nations staff and students, but also First Nations communities as a whole.”
Last month, the University launched the UOW Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2022 - 2024, which aims to build stronger relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples that benefit all Australians.
More information about the University of Wollongong’s Reconciliation Action Plan is available here.
For more information about the Uluru Statement from the Heart, visit https://ulurustatement.org/ or https://fromtheheart.com.au/take-action/.