Event co-ordinator and National Uluru Convention Delegate and Facilitator Veronica Bird, USC Dean of Indigenous Education Gary Thomas, National Uluru Convention Delegate Shereen Currie and CQID CEO Jason Field.
Event co-ordinator and National Uluru Convention Delegate and Facilitator Veronica Bird, USC Dean of Indigenous Education Gary Thomas, National Uluru Convention Delegate Shereen Currie and CQID CEO Jason Field. Jessica Cook

Uluru Statement hits home for Butchulla

AS BUTCHULLA elders, service providers and members of the public came together on Tuesday morning, their focus was on the future.

At an event organised by Central Queensland Indigenous Development and held at University of the Sunshine Coast's Hervey Bay campus, attendees discussed creating a local version of the Uluru Statement.

Created in 2017, the Uluru Statement from the Heart calls for the establishment of a First Nations voice in the Australian Constitution.

It also calls for a process of 'agreement-making' and 'truth-telling' between governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, known as a Makarrata Commission.

Jason Field, CQID's chief executive officer, said creating a local version of the landmark statement would give the Butchulla people the chance to focus on issues specific to the region.

"It gives an opportunity for this community to drive an agenda which is impacting on issues they're facing," Mr Field said.

"It's around rectifying the wrongs of the past and really giving the opportunity for the indigenous grassroots people to support the local community."

The event featured moving speeches from Shereen Currie and Veronica Bird, both delegates at the National Uluru Convention.

Together, they read the Uluru Statement in full.

Professor Gary Thomas, USC's Dean of Indigenous Education and Engagement, said the event was an example of the university's commitment to educating about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues.

"Where you have local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities organising themselves to consider these deep, profound issues related to treaty, truth and voice and what that means, the university is a place or learning," he said.