House debates

Monday, 9 November 2020

Statements by Members


1:39 pm

Photo of Matt ThistlethwaiteMatt Thistlethwaite (Kingsford Smith, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Financial Services) Share this | | Hansard source

'Always Was, Always Will Be' is the theme for this year's NAIDOC Week celebrations. I have the enormous privilege of representing the La Perouse Aboriginal community, the saltwater people, the Bidjigal people, whose ancestors were the first to encounter British colonialists from the shores of Gamay, or Botany Bay. I recognise their connection and I pay tribute to them for their storytelling and their connection to the land and the waters of Gamay. I thank them for nurturing that land and those waters and for the lessons that they've taught me about their importance, their connection to land, their culture and their country. They are the storytellers, the historians, the custodians of their culture and the source of truth about what really occurred at Gamay, or Botany Bay, in 1770 and beyond. That is their land and their waters; always was, always will be.

If we respect their connection to that land and those waters, if we respect those First Australians, then this parliament will support the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full. I fully support the Uluru Statement from the Heart, a constitutionally enshrined voice to the parliament, makarrata and truth-telling. If this land always was and always will be First Australians' land, then this parliament must support, in full, the Uluru Statement from the Heart.