Anthony Albanese and his government have been warned not to try to impose a “divisive” body to oversee the determination of the truth following the failure of the Voice referendum.
A Makarrata Commission, as envisioned in the Uluru Declaration from the Heart, would seek a treaty between the federal government and indigenous Australians.
Makarrata is a Yolngu word that translates as “union after a fight” and is the concept of bringing “peace after a dispute.”
Albanese told parliament on Wednesday that “as we take the time to get Makarrata and truth-telling right, treaty work continues at state and territory level.”
But Shadow Minister for Indigenous Australians Jacinta Nampijinpa Price said the government was “not listening” to Australians and a Makarrata would be “divisive”.
Anthony Albanese (left) and Linda Burney (right) have been warned against attempting to impose a truth monitoring body following the failure of the Voice referendum.
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price (pictured) said the Government is “not listening” to Australians and a Makarrata would be “divisive”.
Australian Indigenous Minister Linda Burney told the ABC that “the issue of telling the truth is incredibly important.”
But his predecessor in office, Ken Wyatt, warned that a Makarrata Commission would simply “anger” Australians and create division.
Wyatt, who resigned from the Liberal Party over his position on Indigenous Voice to Parliament, said such a body was no longer a good idea.
He said The Australian that oneAfter the No vote, “you don’t want to make enemies.” I think the Prime Minister has lost a lot of praise and ground because of the failure of Voice.’
Ms Nampijinpa Price asked: “How long will it take this government to hear the result of the Voice referendum?” The Australians said no.
“They don’t want to be divided like this, but that’s what treaties and so-called truth create: divisions,” he told the Herald of the sun.
Wyatt was one of the few prominent Conservative politicians to support the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart, but now believes there will be further repercussions if the Voice is defeated outright in the October 2023 referendum.
He even went so far as to say that “Albanese’s leadership must have a question mark.”
Burney said he was talking to Indigenous communities about the referendum result and “what the next steps would be,” but did not indicate when a truth-telling commission might be held or what it would entail.
“I’m having discussions with the cabinet about that… the issue of telling the truth is incredibly important,” he said.
‘There are many, many ways this can happen, including the school curriculum.
“There is no particular model that is in favor at the moment… I am very open, as the Government is very open, to what it could be.”
Wyatt, however, said adding a truth-telling component “only to school curricula it will not’.
Indigenous Australian history is already a key component.
Former Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt (pictured) warned a Makarrata Commission would simply “anger” Australians and create division.
“Version 9.0 of the Australian Curriculum includes a range of additional content that recognizes the experiences and perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” said a spokesperson for the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority.
“The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curricular priority aims to deepen all students’ understanding of Australian First Nations histories and cultures and their knowledge of important aspects of our history national”.
Opposition education spokesperson Sarah Henderson vehemently disagreed with Ms Burney’s views, telling the Australian: “Classrooms must remain a place for education, not a forum to foment division and activism.”
Professor Megan Davis, a prominent Voice advocate, has previously warned against simplistic solutions to engaging with Indigenous Australians.
‘We should look beyond the preference of those in power for performative storytelling instead of long-awaited and necessary structural change.
“We should look beyond the preference of those in power for performative storytelling instead of long-awaited and necessary structural change,” he wrote in The monthly.