In the Uluru Statement from the Heart, Australia’s Indigenous people seek a ‘fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia’, and with proposals for voice and treaty, it also seeks ‘truth-telling about our history’. In the past, Australian governments have used ‘truth-telling’ as a way of avoiding structural reform and kicking the can down the road on substantive reforms that would empower Indigenous peoples. The reconciliation movement is an example of this. Indigenous people want ‘a better future for our children based on justice and self-determination’, but why does Australia regard a serious ‘truth-telling’ process as too dangerous to contemplate?
Megan Davis is Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous UNSW and a Professor of Law, UNSW Law. Professor Davis was elected by the UN Human Rights Council to UNEMRIP in 2017. Professor Davis currently serves as a United Nations expert with the UN Human Rights Council’s Expert Mechanism on the rights of Indigenous peoples based in UN Geneva.
Davis is a constitutional lawyer who researches in public law and public international law. Her current research focuses on constitutional design, democratic theory and Indigenous peoples. She has been the leading constitutional lawyer working on Indigenous constitutional reform since 2011.