Former prime minister Julia Gillard delivered her fourth annual lecture at the University of Adelaide, yesterday. She called for parliament to adopt the Uluru Statement, which calls for a First Nations voice in the Constitution
“To our federal parliamentarians who are working through how best to respond to the Uluru statement my personal message is this: I know what it is like to be beset with doubts about the best way to respond to a call to address trauma and despair. To worry about making the wrong decision, one that risks more damage.
I went through every painful permutation of that in my head when I worked through whether to call a Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings. I am not ashamed to say here that in the face of such a major decision, I was afraid.
Specifically, I was afraid that holding a Royal Commission would re-traumatise rather than heal.
As history records, I worked through those fears and called the Commission. I know now from my own observations of the impact of the Royal Commission that great healing can come from heeding the call, truth-telling and acknowledgement of past trauma.
I ask our current leaders on all sides of the parliamentary chamber to work through their fears and concerns. I ask our current leaders to heed the call of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.”