Indigenous Affairs

Acknowledgement of Traditional Land Owners

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the country where we are gathered, upon whose land we now live and work – the Gadigal clan of the Eora Nation. We walk with respect on the land that sustains the spirit of these people. We offer respect to the descendants of the first people who continue to live within the community. We acknowledge the vital contribution that indigenous people and cultures have made and still make to the nation that we share, Australia.

We walk together towards the future.


In Conversation with Thomas Mayor - The Uluru Statement from the Heart

On Sunday March 3rd, 2019 Emanuel Synagogue presented a special event as part of it’s In Conversation series, featuring Thomas Mayor, delegate to the Uluru Statement process. Thomas has been travelling throughout Australia with the Uluru Statement advocating for its call for the ‘establishment of First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution’. He shared his story and explained in detail the significance of the Statement.

Here is a video of the event:

The Uluru Statement from the Heart was signed in May 2017 by a historic gathering of around 300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders. The statement is a proposal of reform that would establish a constitutionally enshrined First Nations representative body to advise parliament on policy affecting Indigenous peoples and commit Australia to a process of truth-telling of its colonial history through the establishment of a Makarrata commission.

Thomas Mayor is a Zenadth Kes (Torres Strait Islander) man born and living on Larrakia country (Darwin). Thomas was a delegate at the Convention and is now touring the country as the current custodian of the Uluru Statement, talking about its significance to regional and metropolitan communities. Mr Mayor says the document has not received enough attention or leadership in Parliament, but it was written to the Australian people, so he's taking it out to them.

You can read the whole statement at . Here is an extract, “Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign Nations of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and possessed it under our own laws and customs. This our ancestors did, according to the reckoning of our culture, from the Creation, according to the common law from ‘time immemorial’, and according to science more than 60,000 years ago. This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or ‘mother nature’, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown. How could it be otherwise? That peoples possessed a land for sixty millennia and this sacred link disappears from world history in merely the last two hundred years?”
The statement ends with the words, “In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.” 
Rabbi Kamins committed to spreading the Uluru Statement from the Heart and said that, given our history, we have a special duty to spread the truth about what happened to Aboriginal people, and explain to others the aim of the statement; to establish a Voice for First Nations, a representative body to sit alongside Parliament to have a say in laws that impact their lives before they are passed (not as a third chamber with veto power). There is also a call for a Makarrata Commission (a Truth and Reconciliation commission) to let the Truth be told.
As this movement builds, please educate yourself and others about what these 250 Aboriginal elders and leaders called for in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. When this finally comes to a referendum we owe it to the First Australians to finally do right by them and give them their Voice, a Treaty and a chance for the whole Truth to be known.

We encourage people to register their support for the Statement at



Is Australia really a multicultural safe haven of equal opportunity? Or is racism more prevalent than ever before? Stan Grant took to the stage for the last IQ2 debate of 2015. His speech is widely acknowledged to be one of the most powerful ever heard at IQ2. Courtesy of The Ethics Centre.


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