We acknowledge the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong peoples, the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land on which Motéa is based and pay respects to Elders past, present and emerging of the Kulin Nation.
We acknowledge the intimate cultural and spiritual relationships First Nations people have to the land, waters and seas, and their rich contribution to society. We recognise the past and present trauma experienced among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and that Australia was founded on the genocide of First Nations people. We acknowledge that colonial policies and structures that remain active today and the ongoing fight of First Nations people in dismantling those structures.
And yet, in spite of this long history of dispossession, Indigenous culture remains a valued and dynamic force in contemporary society, contributing to the diverse and thriving Melbourne we experience today.
We support the Uluru Statement from the Heart, an invitation from First Nations to “walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future”. The Uluru Statement calls for structural reform including constitutional change. Structural reform includes establishing a new relationship between First Nations and the Australian nation based on justice and self-determination where Indigenous cultures and peoples can flourish, and we all move forward.
We also commit to Pay The Rent. Paying the Rent is a step towards acknowledging that every day, people consume food grown on Indigenous land or harvested from Indigenous seas and drink water that flows across or under Indigenous land; every day, people who are not Indigenous to this land take shelter in homes built upon it, they socialise, gather, and make family and community here; every day, business is conducted on this land for the benefit of non-Indigenous people; and every day, land belonging to Indigenous people is traded for profit. Pay The Rent is part of a process of restitution that all non-Indigenous people – individually and collectively – need to enter into, if we are to move towards justice and liberation for First Nations people.
Sovereignty has never been ceded. It always was and always will be, Aboriginal land.