Media Release: August 2021
Australian research leaders commit to truth telling and a journey of change
Today the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) has outlined its support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart, alongside its commitment to a journey of change between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the research sector for an inclusive and a shared positive future.
ACOLA’s statement, released following the fourth anniversary of the presentation of the painted and signed Uluru Statement of the Heart, to the then Prime Minister and Opposition Leader at the Garma Festival, outlines how ACOLA and Australia’s Learned Academies will actively listen, learn, reflect and engage in furthering our commitment to, and support of, the Statement.
Professor John Shine, Chair of the ACOLA Board, stated that “ACOLA has followed the development of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and attended to community discussions surrounding the importance of the principles of voice, treaty and truth in reconciling Australia’s past with the needs and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”
Professor Shine acknowledged that “ACOLA’s response has been some time in the making, reflecting the essential considerations and discussion on how we can best respond and support this critical journey. To everyone involved in the Statement’s drafting and the wider community, thank you for your invitation to walk with you in a movement of all Australian people for a better future.”
“As leaders in the research sector, we commit to participating in the creation of a harmonised, national research culture. One that removes structural inequity, values diversity, enriches and strengthens our and others’ understandings of the world, and makes tangible actions to address the past and create a better future.”
ACOLA’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ryan Winn, stated that “Actions speak louder than words, with real action needed by ACOLA, its members and the wider community. At ACOLA, we will ensure that our research and advice respects and incorporates meaningful inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, knowledge systems and perspectives into all our work, reflective of the leadership role we hold.”
ACOLA’s full response to the Uluru Statement from the Heart, developed with the support of a Reference Group of Fellows representing each Academy and in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders, within and connected to ACOLA, can be found at Acknowledging the past | Moving forward together | ACOLA Website
ACOLA deeply appreciates the work of its reference group for this project, comprising:
|Professor Alex Brown FAHMS
Professor Wendy Hoy AO FAA
Professor Heather Goodall FASSA
Professor John Patrick FAA
|Professor Lesley Head FASSA FAHA
Professor Tim Rowse FASSA
Mr David Hind OAM FIChemE FEA FTSE
Dr Sarah Ryan FTSE
For more information or to arrange interviews, contact:
Chief Executive Officer, ACOLA
0484 814 040
ACOLA is the forum whereby Australia’s Learned Academies and our Associate members come together to contribute expert advice to inform national policy; and to develop innovative solutions to complex global problems and emerging national needs. Through the learned academies, ACOLA has access to more than 3,000 of Australia’s greatest minds to bring together critical thinking and evidence to inform robust policy decisions.