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Dates and Times

17 October 2022
10:00 - 11:30
17 October 2022
18:00 - 19:30


Building: Ann Harding Centre, Building 24


Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous


Aunty Violet Sheridan
Thomas Mayor
Professor Tom Calma


Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous

The Uluru Statement From the Heart – In conversation

You’re invited to an Uluru Statement from the Heart Panel Discussion: The path for a referendum on a Voice to Parliament hosted by the University of Canberra. Aunty Violet will be hosting conversations with Thomas Mayor and Professor Tom Calma regarding the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

The "Uluru Statement from the Heart is an invitation from First Nations to “walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future”. It was issued to the Australian people in May 2017 following almost two years of work. The Uluru Statement calls for structural reform including constitutional change. Structural reform means establishing a new relationship between First Nations and the Australian nation based on justice and self-determination where Indigenous cultures and peoples can flourish, and we all move forward." Source:

This event is the opportunity to hear from community leaders about The Statement, its purpose and next steps. There will be time allocated towards the end of the event for a Q&A session. University of Canberra will be hosting two sessions for this important event.

• Session 1: 9:45am arrival, 10:00am start – 11:30 close

• Session 2: 5:45pm arrival, 6:00pm start – 7:30pm close

Professor Tom Calma will be joining Session 2 @ 6pm only due to prior commitments.

Please feel free to share through your networks as this event is open to all.

Additional Information

Aunty Violet Sheridan is a pillar of the community in Canberra and the region. She is a passionate Ngunnawal Elder who shares her cultural knowledge and expertise with the entire community. She generously donates her time at events, schools, and for a broad range of organisations - in a bid to bring all Australians together.

Thomas Mayor is a Kaurareg Aboriginal and Kalkalgal, Erubamle Torres Strait Islander man born on Larrakia country in Darwin. He didn’t think then that he would become one of the first ever Torres Strait Islander authors to have a book published for the general trade. Instead, he became a wharf labourer from the age of seventeen, until he became a union official for the Maritime Union of Australia in his early thirties. Quietly spoken in character, Thomas found his voice on the wharves. As he gained the skills of negotiation and organising in the union movement, he applied those skills to advancing the rights of Indigenous peoples, becoming a signatory to the Uluru Statement from the Heart and a tireless campaigner. Following the Uluru Convention, Thomas was entrusted to carry the sacred canvas of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. He then embarked on an eighteen-month journey around the country to garner support for a constitutionally enshrined First Nations voice, and a Makarrata Commission for truth-telling and agreement-making or treaties. Thomas is the author of Finding The Heart of The Nation, Dear Son and the children’s books - Finding Our Heart and Freedom Day.

Professor Calma, AO FAA is an Aboriginal Australian human rights and social justice campaigner. He is the sixth chancellor of the University of Canberra, a post held since January 2014, after two years as deputy chancellor. Calma is the second Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person to hold the position of chancellor of any Australian university. Calma has been involved in Indigenous affairs at a local, community, state, national and international level and worked in the public sector focusing on rural and remote Australia, health, mental health and suicide prevention, education, justice reinvestment, research, reconciliation and economic development. Calma's 2005 Social Justice Report – focusing on Indigenous health equality – was the catalyst for the Close the Gap campaign. Calma served as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner from 2004 to 2010 and as Race Discrimination Commissioner from 2004 until 2009 at the Australian Human Rights Commission. In 2012 he was awarded an Order of Australia, Officer of the General Division, in recognition of his work as an inspirational advocate for human rights and social justice and distinguished service to the Indigenous community, and in 2013 was named Australian of the Year for the ACT. On 30 October 2019, Calma was announced as a co-chair on the Senior Advisory Group of the "Indigenous voice to government", convened by Ken Wyatt.

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