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Buraadja - the Liberal Case for National Reconciliation

The book’s title means “Tomorrow” in the Dhurga language of the Yuin people, because it is about our country, tomorrow.

As I set out in my First Speech to the Australian Senate, I am committed to national reconciliation.

This book is my attempt to engage with the Uluru Statement from the Heart as Indigenous leaders have asked of all Australians.

In essence, it sets out the liberal arguments for the Statement.

In offering my thoughts on the Uluru Statement from the Heart, I do not seek to speak for anyone other than myself. I am doing my job as a policy maker and legislator on behalf of 300,000 Indigenous constituents.

The book does three things:

  1. It sets out the contribution of Australian liberalism to Indigenous affairs. A limited understanding of the work of the past limits our ambition in the present. The creation of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies, the 1967 referendum and land rights legislation have been largely lost to the Liberal tradition.
  2. It assesses the Uluru Statement from the Heart. I conclude we should have a Voice toParliament anchored in the constitution, we should promote truth telling in order to close the “Great Australian Silence”.
  3. It offers a suite of options to address the valid concern that Australia does not do enough to incorporate Indigenous culture into our national life. We should establish a new national public holiday on 27 January, we should establish a national Indigenous institution in the Parliamentary Triangle.

Australia is a great country but for the most part it has not been a great country for Indigenous people.

We have not completed the Australian project until we have delivered on the UluruStatement from the Heart for the Indigenous people.

To do otherwise would be illiberal. The book will be launched across the Australian states in coming weeks starting with a national virtual launch with Rachel Perkins on 3 May 2021.

Media: John Mangos 0401 392 624

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