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Philanthropy backs Statement from the Heart

The Ross Trust has joined with fellow philanthropic organisations to sign an open letter to the First Nations of Australia, supporting the Uluru Statement from the Heart

The campaign, which follows a similar push by business and the unions, featured a full-page advertisement in The Financial Review along with supporting statements and social media messaging.

The letter starts “Thank you for your Uluru Statement from the Heart, an invitation to Australia and the Australian people.

“We make this response as members of the philanthropic community in Australia, committed to a reconciled Australia and one that is respectful of the spirit of self-determination.

“We share your vision for Australia’s First Nations to take their rightful place in Australia and fully embrace your vision for your children to walk in two worlds. We thank you for and embrace this gift of your culture, which will give us all a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood.”

We encourage you to read a full copy of the letter.

Philanthropy Australia Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Davies, said the open letter was driven by the sector’s desire to help make a difference for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“Philanthropy has a responsibility to take a stand on social issues where it can to make a difference and many of our members felt this was an ideal opportunity to respond collectively. That’s because at its very core, philanthropy is about working with communities to achieve positive social, environmental and cultural change,” Ms Davies said.

Almost 60 individual philanthropists and philanthropic organisations are signatories to the letter, with a link online allowing others to add their voice and support.

Philanthropy Australia led the work to make sure there was a strong message when the sector heads to Canberra for September’s Philanthropy Meets Parliament Summit.