Towards Truth

Supporting First Nations Truth-Telling and the Uluru Statement from the Heart

Towards Truth is a collaborative project that aims to empower First Nations-led truth-telling as called for by the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

The Uluru Statement calls for constitutional reforms to empower First Nations to take a rightful place in their own country. These constitutional reforms include a First Nations Voice to Parliament being enshrined in the Constitution and a ‘Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history’.

Drawing on the expertise of the Indigenous Law Centre at UNSW and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Towards Truth is developing an interactive information database that maps legislation and policies that have impacted upon First Nations’ lives throughout Australian history to enable truth-telling about our history.

From the dispossession of land, to education, child removals, and the regulation of hunting and fishing, the actions of Australian governments and institutions have touched every aspect of First Nations’ lives. The database, initially limited to New South Wales but eventually to be expanded to cover the whole country, will provide an accurate, detailed map of the ways in which Australian laws and policies have impacted or come into contact with First Nations.

Towards Truth will achieve this through cataloguing original government documents, scholarly materials and commentary, that when viewed together offer further resources to support the truth-telling of First Nations people. Our aim is to build an accessible database that strengthens First Nations community truth-telling practices.

The database can be expanded by the addition of other topics and materials to provide further resources to First Nations to empower their own truth-telling. The database could also have impact beyond the primary purpose of assisting First Nations truth-telling by providing information that enables non-Indigenous people to better understand the history of First Nations in Australia.

Providing a way to view, learn about, and contextualise First Nations’ experiences in law and policy is our response to the invitation to walk together ‘in a movement of the Australian people for a better future’ that provides a model to be expanded for future truth-telling purposes.

For further information contact Daniela Gavshon dgavshon@piac.asn.au.

PIAC gratefully acknowledges the generous financial support for the project from the Maple-Brown Family Foundation, PwC, Clayton Utz Foundation, Herbert Smith Freehills, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, Harbour Litigation Funding, Lander & Rogers, Robert & Jennifer Gavshon, Sam & Barbara Linz and the Australian Communities Foundation Fairer Futures Fund.

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