The 2021 Sydney Peace Prize winner is The Uluru Statement from the Heart
Accepting the 2021 award will be First Nations leaders and courageous drivers of the Uluru Statement from the Heart Professor Megan Davis, Pat Anderson AO, and Noel Pearson. They will receive the Prize together at an official event on 11 November 2021. These leaders worked tirelessly to deliver the Statement in May 2017 and have spent the past four years leading the campaign for a referendum.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation to the Australian people to walk with First Nations people to create a better future. It is a gift: a strategic roadmap to peace, where all Australians can come together to realise our nation’s true potential.
The Uluru Statement is the culmination of 13 Regional Dialogues – a historic deliberative consultation process with 1200 First Nations people – on the question of what constitutional recognition means for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
At the Uluru Constitutional Convention in 2017, delegates endorsed the consensus of the Dialogues for a strategic and sequenced reform proposal: Voice, Treaty and Truth. As the Uluru Statement sets out, the first step is a Voice to Parliament, enshrined in the Australian Constitution.
A First Nations Voice, protected by the Constitution, will mean Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a say in the laws and policies that impact them. It also means that agreement-making and truth-telling can finally be done on equal terms. With Voice, we can begin the journey of coming together after a struggle – Makarrata.
2008 Sydney Peace Prize recipient, Senator Patrick Dodson, lauds the choice for 2021 prize winner:
‘I have been most gratified to learn that the 2021 Sydney Peace Prize has been awarded to the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and I congratulate Pat Anderson, Megan Davis and Noel Pearson whose good work in delivering the Statement will be recognised by their receipt of the award.
More than four years have elapsed since 250 First Nations delegates attended the national constitutional convention at Uluru, and I remain immensely frustrated that the Statement from the Heart has not been comprehensively embraced by the Commonwealth Government.
I hope that this award will serve to revive and sustain public recognition and acceptance of the Statement and its modest and plaintive pleas that a First Nations Voice be enshrined in the Constitution, and that a Makarrata Commission supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations, and truth-telling about our history.’
The Sydney Peace Foundation’s Chair, Archie Law, supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart:
‘The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a call for peace. It is a game changer. The statement is a rallying call to our citizens to ‘walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future’. Uluru provides the leadership that we desperately crave to achieve respect, recognition, and reconciliation.’