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RACGP supports Uluru statement in submission


Amanda Lyons


12/07/2018 2:07:20 PM

The RACGP has welcomed the opportunity, during NAIDOC week, to use its voice on the subject of constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia.

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The RACGP perceives the Uluru statement as a pathway to self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

The RACGP has made a submission to the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition Relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 2018 (the Committee), which was formed with the purpose of investigating the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within the Australian constitution.
 
The RACGP submission to the Committee offers full support for the recommendations of the ‘Uluru statement from the heart’ (the Uluru statement), the result of a constitutional convention held in 2017 at the foot of Uluru that brought together over 250 leaders from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
 
‘The Uluru statement was produced by an unprecedented gathering of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and Elders from all over Australia,’ Dr Anita Watts, an Aboriginal GP, academic and member of the RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Board, told newsGP.

‘The gathering called for a constitutionally-enshrined “First Nations Voice” and called for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to be heard. It is an invitation for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to speak together.’

The RACGP perceives the Uluru statement as a pathway to self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the grounds that it expresses the majority resolution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and promotes their improved health and wellbeing.

‘Without [constitutional] recognition, there cannot be self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,’ Dr Watts explained.

‘Health outcomes are inextricably linked to self-determination. There is overwhelming evidence to support improvement in health outcomes when Indigenous peoples take greater control over their health.’

The RACGP also considers support for the Uluru statement to be in line with its own goals and commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and closing the gap in health inequality, and its earlier support for the Redfern Statement.
 
‘The RACGP endorses the recommendations of the Uluru statement. This support is consistent with the RACGP’s commitment to close the gap in health inequality, our membership of the Close the Gap Steering Committee, and reflects our ongoing support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership,’ the submission states.
 
The Committee is working towards developing a referendum question on constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples that will achieve the double-majority required to proceed towards a referendum. It will produce an interim report on its deliberations by 30 July and a final report by 29 November.



Aboriginal-and-Torres-Strait-Islander-health Uluru-statement





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