Intermarriage Day 30 December


What is the Adelaide Statement from the Head?

Hon Dr Gary Johns

18 Dec 2023

2:10 min

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In this video Close the Gap Research Chairman, Gary Johns discusses the sentiment behind The Adelaide Statement from the Head, which presents an alternative response to the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Video transcript

You'll be aware of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. It played a prominent part in the recent referendum, the referendum which rejected, I might say, the Uluru Statement and all that went with it, including the Voice.

Well, we at Close the Gap Research met recently in Adelaide and devised our own statement, called the Adelaide Statement from the Head. I think you'll like the sentiments.

On these ancient lands live a modern people. They are free to maintain old customs. They aspire to have good manners, not to revive old divisions.

These people, Australians, are aware of historical wrongs. Some occurred on this land. Many occurred on other lands. Australians know that history cannot be lived again.

Each Australian carries many histories. No history creates rights superior to any other. Heritage creates no shared obligations. Shared obligations arise in a common citizenship.

These lands once consisted of many tribes and many languages. Common citizenship never existed on these lands.

Each Australian benefits from a common citizenship. Each is free to acknowledge any aspect of their birth. None should benefit from such acknowledgement.

Each Australian should be judged by their deeds. Each has a right to draw from shared wealth. Each is obliged to contribute to that shared wealth.

Citizen rights and obligations must never be assigned by race. Helping those with an ancient heritage requires understanding, but resources held in common must be distributed by need, not race.

Other resources


Read the CtGR Adelaide Statement from the Head (PDF)


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