It’s a privilege to be back in this place, re-elected as the member for Jagajaga. I must say if does feel like a very different parliament to our last one, no more so than yesterday when we were welcomed to country by Aunty Matilda and her son Paul. Paul House’s speech powerfully challenged all of us in here to commit to the Uluru Statement from the Heart. It was a challenge our Prime Minister took up yesterday and, in fact, put on to each one of us in here: seize this moment in our nation’s history to make our time in this place count. I have had so many people in my community come to me and say that they support the Uluru Statement from the Heart because they understand it is a very generous offer from the First Nations people of our country. As my colleague Senator Dodson has said, it is a chance to enhance our nation.
Of course, the first step for the Uluru Statement from the Heart is a constitutionally enshrined voice to parliament to ensure that First Nations people have input on decisions that are made in this place. Our government’s commitment is to a referendum in our first term, and we know referendums are hard. But today I want to take up the challenge, laid down by our PM and laid down by Aunty Matilda and Paul House, to do all I can, as a member of this House, to ensure that that referendum succeeds. We can’t let this moment slip by.