Gillard speaks out at Uni Adelaide

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.”


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