Major miners BHP and Rio Tinto have endorsed the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and its objectives to enshrine a First Nations Voice in the Australian Constitution and to establish a Makarrata Commission.
The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a national Indigenous statement on constitutional recognition that came out of the First Nations National Constitutional Convention in May 2017.
The statement followed robust consultation at 13 regional forums across Australia featuring 1200 delegates. It was the most proportionately significant consultation process undertaken to date with the nation’s 600,000 Indigenous Australians.
BHP chief executive officer Andrew McKenzie said a First Nations voice to parliament was a meaningful step towards reconciliation.
“It would empower Indigenous Australian and it would make sure Indigenous people have a say on the legislation, policy and programs that shape Indigenous lives, families and communities,” McKenzie said.
“We will work with Australia’s leaders and use our voice to support the call to give Indigenous Australia the constitutionally-enshrined voice it deserves.”
Rio Tinto managing director Australia Joanne Farrell said the company was proud to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
“Enshrining the First Nations Voice in the Constitution is important to ensure continued participation in decision about Indigenous rights and interests. We believe national conversations around constitutional reform must continue as a priority for our country,” Farrell said.
“As the largest private sector employer of Indigenous people in Australia, we look forward to working with Indigenous communities, state and federal government and the rest of Australia to take the next step towards reconciliation.”