Uluru Statement wins Sydney Peace Prize

The Uluru Statement from the Heart has won the 2022 Sydney Peace Prize for its gracious offer of peace from First Nations People to all Australians.

Calling for the establishment of a ‘First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution’, the Uluru Statement was voted winner by more than 200 community nominations.

The prize was presented by Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore to Alyawarre woman and Co-Chair of the Referendum Council, Pat Anderson AO and Cobble Cobble woman and Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous and Professor of Law at the University of NSW Professor Megan Davis at Sydney Town Hall on 10 November.

Guugu Yimidhirr man and University of Sydney Law School alum Noel Pearson was due to accept the award too but was unwell on the night.

Davis delivered a heartfelt lecture: “When we stand on lands that have been forcefully taken, with no Voice or recognition for First Nations people, then we are not living in a country of peace.

“This dialogue process is unprecedented and a profound response to the historic exclusion of First Nations people from the political system.

“The law can oppress and the law can redeem. What does repair look like? Voice, Treaty, Truth.

“A Voice for First Nations people, powerfully enshrined in our Constitution will give us all that chance to step forward together.”

During a panel discussion with Network 10 Journalist and Whadjuk Noongar woman Narelda Jacobs, Anderson said, “We’re in crisis. We’re having problems with education outcomes and domestic violence.

“We need the Voice to Parliament to deal with this. We need a Voice so the government of the day will hear us,” Anderson said.

“We can’t just rely on the good will of this or that politician who makes a change, then it gets changed back when they lose their job. The only way to gain lasting change is to change the ‘Big Law’ – the Constitution,” she said.

“When you’re in the ballot box, it’s just you and your conscience. You must decide what you think and what you feel. Be conscious. Make an informed decision.”

Singer, songwriter, and six-time Aria Award winner Dan Sultan performed before and after the ceremony.

Sultan said he was “not just privileged but spoilt” to perform at the presentation.

The IEU supports the adoption of the Voice to Parliament.

Sue Osbourne Journalist