Murrawarri Nations’ analysis of the ULURU STATEMENT FROM THE HEART (The Uluru Statement)

Murrawarri Media Release


Fred Hooper the Chairperson of the Murrawarri Peoples Council, and Chair of the Northern Murray Darling Basin First Nations Alliance, said. Speaking for the Murrawarri Nation I can simply say this;

Murrawarri Republic
Murrawarri Republic Location Map
Murrawarri Republic Location Map

“After listening to all the debate around the Uluru Statement and all the media coverage and different opinions by all, the Murrawarri Nation agree in principal with the Uluru Statement, however we have some major reservations and concerns with the approach the Referendum Council is suggesting as a road map to achieve a TREATY between First Nations and the Crown represented by her Ministers and her Governor General”. The Murrawarri Nation believe the suggested process is wrong and it needs to be changed from a Reform and Recognition process leading to a Treaty to an Agreement Making Process I.E. Treaty, then Constitutional Reform and Recognition.

Mr Hooper said that the Uluru Statement certainly:

  1. States that First Nations have never ceded their Sovereignty, both Sovereignties co-exist and First Nations Sovereignty is Sovereignty of the soil as per the outlined definition within the Statement.
  2. Gives a very good description of Sovereignty and what it means to First Nations.
  3. Calls for a Treaty or several Treaties at different levels after Reform and Recognition in the Constitution,
  4. Calls for a First Nations voice to be enshrined in the Australian Constitution, and
  5. Calls for a Makarrata Commission to oversee Treaty making which will also act as a First Nations Truth Commission after Constitutional Recognition which is legislated by Government.

However, after reading the Statement, seeing the roadmap and reviewing it with the Murrawarri Peoples Council, we have come to the following conclusion:

  1. It is not in the best interest of the Murrawarri Republic/Nation to support the entire statement because it calls for inclusion within the Australian Constitution before any comprehensive settlement is reached between all the parties (First Nations),
  2. It calls for a National body before negotiating it’s roles with Government through an agreement making process before Constitutional Reform and Recognition,

  3. It states that First Nations have never ceded Sovereignty but it allows the Crown to take First Nations Sovereignty by STEALTH, through Constitutional Reform and Recognition,
  4. There was no International Legal advice presented at the Convention to negate or allow a fair decision to be made by delegates, and
  5. It does not have full free, prior and informed consent of all the First Nations of the continent through their relevant First Nations Structures, which ever they may be.

But, moreover our major concern is that it calls for the recognition within the Constitution without a process of real Truth Telling, Reconciliation, Reparation and a Comprehensive Negotiation Process with the First Peoples on a Treaty or Treaties.

It merely calls for a voice enshrined in the Constitution and then for the Government to legislate a process of treaty making after that has happened. It does not call for a treaty making process to be enshrined in the Constitution. It only calls for a Commission to be established under Legislation after the fact, which allows for Governments to wriggle their way out of any commitment to enter into a treaty with the First Nations and their peoples. It should have also called for a Truth Telling and Treaty process before Constitutional Reform.

The Murrawarri Peoples Council does not support the Referendum Councils roadmap and process of achieving a Treaty or Treaties through Constitutional Reform and Recognition.
We maintain that our Sovereignty and Allodial Title to the Murrawarri Nation remains with the Murrawarri Peoples’ through our ancient Laws, and we have not ceded it and will not cede it to any Government or Crown without major negotiations which leads to a settlement by a Treaty.
This must include a full reparations and repatriation package that is negotiated with the Crown through her Australian Ministers and her Governor General and by a proper Treaty making process which is supervised by an external body such as the United Nations Decolonisation Committee.

We need to add some context to this whole debate. It is the context below that allowed the Murrawarri People’s Council to come to the above conclusion and decision.

  1. The MABO decision confirmed that the Crown did not gain absolute beneficial ownership to the land because the land was occupied. The Crown did not gain the Allodial Title to the Lands, Airspace, Waters and Subsurface, when it implied at paragraph 51; that the Crown did not gain an absolute beneficial ownership of the Land (An Allodial Title) because the land was occupied.
  2. At no time did the Commonwealth of Australia gain First Peoples Citizenship through Legislation which is the way in which Citizenship is gained and not through the Constitution,
  3. None of the First Nations of the Continent of Australian ceded their Sovereignty of their Nations to the Crown of Great Britain or any other Nation through any form of agreement making process, and
  4. The First Nations have never signed a Treaty with the illegal occupiers of the land which is the Crown of Great Britain, administered through her Colonial Governments both State and Federal.
Murrawarri Republic Media release Attachment 1
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Attachment 1

The Murrawarri must remind other First Nations of what both John Howard and Tony Abbott said last year in regards to entering into a Treaty with First Nations. They both said: "Australia cannot enter into a treaty with its own Citizens".

The Murrawarri fear that once enshrined in the Constitutional First Nations people will be the only people’s in the Commonwealth of Australia who will be made Citizens by the Constitution and that this process is by STEALTH and deceit.
At this point we need to make people aware that the Murrawarri Peoples’ and other First Peoples’ are not Citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia. This is by virtue of the Commonwealths own Constitution and the Naturalization and Citizenship Act (Cth) of 1948.

At this time Australian Citizenship was given to all British Subjects living in the Commonwealth of Australia and its Territories and allowed for aliens to be Naturalised Citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia by application.

We remain aliens to the Commonwealth of Australia. We have never been naturalized Citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia for the reasons below.

In 1948, Section 24 of the Naturalisation and Citizenship Act, stated that to become an Australian Citizen a person must have the “full political and other rights and privileges of a Natural Born British Subject”. At this time because of all of the State Aboriginal Protection and Welfare Acts and the fact that the Australian Constitution prohibited the Commonwealth Parliament from making Laws for people of the Aboriginal Race in the States under section 51 xxvi of the Australian Constitution, First Peoples could not become citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia and remained Aliens to the Commonwealth.

Unlike the myths about the 1967 referendum giving Aboriginal people Citizenship it just did not and could not happen. The Australian Constitution does not give people citizenship. It only allows the Government to make laws about Aliens and Naturalization at section 51 xix.

The Murrawarri Peoples Council is also concerned that the Australian Government and the Crown will use Constitutional Reform/Recognition as a form of the First Nations ceding their sovereignty to the Crown.

There were three Murrawarri Peoples Council members present at the Uluru Convention representing the Dubbo Dialogue and the Murrawarri Nation which included (Fred Hooper) the Chairman of Northern Murray Darling Basin First Nations Alliance.

Ten people were elected from Dubbo, which included 3 members of the Murrawarri Peoples Council, and were given a mandate to take this message to Uluru, “The Dubbo dialogue did not support Constitutional reform or recognition and it wanted a treaty”.

To quote Michael Anderson from the Sovereign Union press release dated 30th May 2017;

“In respect of the Synthesis (summary) of the Dialogues it was very clear that nationally the specially selected people by the Land Councils (invitation-only delegates) independently concluded that is must be made clear that First Nations sovereignty was never ceded.
The next key point was the fact the people, from around this island continent, who attended these Regional Dialogues, were emphatic that they did not want a minimalist approach to constitutional reform and they did not want it to be symbolic. They wanted something substantive that would affect real and positive change.
It was very clear that they did not just want to remove Section 51(26) the Race Power, because they did not want anything in the constitution that could be used in a manner that would be detrimental to First Nations Peoples exercising their rights and their right to be self-determining.
More importantly, the presentation in the Synthesis/Summary does suggest that an overwhelming majority of people, who attended these Regional Dialogues, were determined that, because sovereignty was never ceded, that Treaties should be made with Sovereign First Nations throughout the continent and they determined that our ancient tapestry of languages and cultures cannot be destroyed and lost forever to our future generations.
Noel Pearson, in his introductory presentation, made use of Mr Bayona-Ba-Meya, Senior President of the Supreme Court of Zaire’s spiritual notion of sovereignty, which was articulated in the International Court of Justice in the 1975 Western Sahara case:

…the ancestral tie between the land, or ‘mother nature’, and the man who was born therefrom, remains attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with is ancestors. This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty …

This tapestry of colour of the diverse Sovereign First Nations became visual when the coloured Tindale map was put up for all to see. It is from this that we must understand the richness of our ancient Law and culture, which must be defended and maintained at all costs. We must always tell ourselves on a daily basis that we have the oldest civilisation on planet Earth, and we are the Peoples who perfected the art of peaceful co-existence and sustainability, through the teachings handed down from the time of Creation, and that we are intrinsically linked to all things natural through the definition entitled 'humanity”.

Murrawarri Republic Media release attachment 2
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Attachment 2

This was clearly consistent with the views of the Dubbo Dialogue, the Murrawarri Nation and was also the message from the Northern Murray Darling Basin First Nations Alliance which was reflected in the Uluru Statement.

The Murrawarri Peoples Council agree with this assessment of the Uluru Convention by Anderson and what was presented to the convention by Noel Pearson which is reflected in the Uluru Statement. However, what was witnessed at the Uluru Convention by the Murrawarri delegates was a process of control by the four big Government controlled Land Councils, the NSW State Land Council, Northern Land Council, Kimberly Land Council and the Central Land Council and other big Aboriginal organisations who receive large amounts of money from Government and therefore are required has to support Constitutional Recognition as part of their funding agreements with the Commonwealth of Australia.

We believe that their agenda at the Convention was to protect their Multi-Million Dollar Empires, which will be torn apart if First Nations are allowed self-determination and self-governance through a First Nations treaty making process. The power and control and money will go back to the First Nations under their own Governance Structures and for the benefit of their peoples, therefore, leaving the control over First Nations Peoples money by these Multi-Million Dollar Empires floundering and Government no longer controlling First Nations and their peoples destiny of Self Government and Self Determination through these manipulative vehicles of Government.

Contact: Fred Hooper (Chairman)
Phone: 0427957960

Fred Hooper UluruFred Hooper, Chairperson of the Murrawarri Peoples Council speaks out at his disgust is the processes conducted by the Referendum Council convenors at the Referendum Council National Conference at Yulara near Uluru in May 2017
(Image source: NITV/SBS)
Murrawarri Republic Media release Attachment 1
Murrawarri Republic Media release Attachment 2