Finding the Heart of the Nation

Thomas Mayor

Finding the Heart of the Nation
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Finding the Heart of the Nation

Thomas Mayor

‘If Australia were a child, she would be traumatised by a past that she is told to forget. She has witnessed her custodians being murdered and raped, scattered to the margins of society. She suffers for what she has seen. She cannot forget. Her heart beat is fading. On 26 May 2017, a historic moment at Uluru gave this country hope. Those custodians came together, reached in to their own hearts, and gifted us with a roadmap to find the heart of the nation - The Uluru Statement from the Heart. When you read this book, you will be feeling the pulse of this beautiful country, Australia.

Finding the Heart of the Nation is a book full of stories about extraordinary people who will take you on an unforgettable journey to a place where we can start a new beginning. This book is a call to action that you will never forget.’ - Thomas Mayor, 2019

This is a book for all Australians.

Since the Uluru Statement from the Heart was formed in 2017, Thomas Mayor has travelled around the country to promote its vision of a better future for Indigenous Australians. He’s visited communities big and small, often with the Uluru Statement canvas rolled up in a tube under his arm. Through the story of his own journey and interviews with 20 key people, Thomas taps into a deep sense of our shared humanity.

The voices within these chapters make clear what the Uluru Statement is and why it is so important. And Thomas hopes you will be moved to join them, along with the growing movement of Australians who want to see substantive constitutional change. Thomas believes that we will only find the heart of our nation when the First peoples - the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders - are recognised with a representative Voice enshrined in the Australian Constitution. 


In 2017, over two hundred and fifty Indigenous representatives from around the country gathered at Uluru and unanimously adopted the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The last paragraph reads, ‘In 1967 we were counted, in 2017 we seek to be heard. We leave base camp and start our trek across this vast country. We invite you to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future.’

The Indigenous people of Australia have occupied this country for over 60,000 years, their sovereignty was never ceded. For two hundred years their sovereignty has been usurped and in the Statement they laid out a path for reform that would empower their people and enable them to take a rightful place in their own country. The Statement made three proposals: first, for a First Nations’ Voice enshrined in the Constitution; second, for a Makarrata Commission to supervise agreement making or treaties; and third, a process of truth telling for the nation. The then Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, rejected the main plank of the Statement, the Voice, and this has been reiterated by Scott Morrison.

In this moving book, Thomas Mayor, a delegate to the Convention, takes us through his journey and through conversations with twenty other key people to help us understand the significance of the Uluru Statement. This a beautiful illustrated hardback that should be in every home and library.

Mark Rubbo is the managing director of Readings.

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