Today, the Australian Academy of Science proudly adds its name to those endorsing the Uluru Statement from the Heart.
We do so alongside the four other learned academies, as part of the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA), and we recognise the need to do more to acknowledge and understand the deep knowledge held by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“As leaders in the research sector, we commit to participating in the creation of a harmonised, national research culture,” said Academy President and Chair of the ACOLA board, Professor John Shine.
“One that removes structural inequity, values diversity, enriches and strengthens our and others’ understandings of the world, and takes tangible actions to address the past and create a better future.”
Through this response, we commit to:
- ensuring our processes and activities respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge systems and perspectives
- appropriate and deep engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and knowledge systems
- our responsibility and leadership role to actively expose, and foster dialogue about, racism and bigotry
- stopping tokenism in research efforts to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are true partners in the conduct of research and benefit from its results
- participating in the creation of a harmonised, national research culture that values diversity, removes structural inequity and delivers benefits
- ensuring our activities, and the research we promote, are conducted under appropriate ethical arrangements, research principles and practices.
We also acknowledge that actions speak louder than words, the importance of reconciliation, and the sustained actions required to move forward-which involves us listening, learning, reflecting and engaging better.
To this end, the Australian Academy of Science has committed to a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which outlines the practical steps we will take to support positive change and facilitate reconciliation.