Respect & Unite

The Indigenous Elders who carried this Petition forward, including Auntie Yumina Anyupa Ken and Uncle Pepaii Carol from Ernabella, respect all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups and peoples and acknowledge that they do not speak for the entirety of their country or language groups. 

However, in putting this Petition forward, we recognise and we’re declaring that, the union between man and women is deeply a part of our ancient and continuing culture across all of our communities, and that our Fathers and Mothers provide the foundation for those communities.

WE now call upon our communities to stand with us as one Indigenous Australia to honour and protect one of our ancient and continuing values.

Timeline of Petition

  • On 1 June 2015, Opposition leader Bill Shorten introduced a bill into Parliament with the aim of legalising same-sex marriage in Australia.
  • This event caused Uncle Peter Walker, Elder of the Bundjalung people, to state that marriage is sacred to Aboriginals, past and present. He believes that as an Aboriginal Elder and traditional custodian of the land, it was important to have an Indigenous ancient voice in this debate.
  • The heart of the Petition states that marriage between man and woman is, and has always been, sacred to the oldest living culture on earth.
  • The Uluru Bark Petition was drawn up by a group of Elders to stand as a declaration for Indigenous Australia to unite together as an ancient culture, by declaring that marriage is sacred between a man and a women and in the continuing traditional of skin-group naming.
  • The Petition follows the tradition set by the Yirrkala Bark Petition, presented to the government in 1963 and the Elders of the Pitjantjatjara have given permission for the petition to be written in the Pitjantjatjara language. In 1979 the Pitjantjatjara and Yankuntjjara people formally claimed as their own an area that included Uluru.
  • The Uluru Bark Petition is only the second traditional petition ever handed to the government in the history of Australia. That makes this petition very significant in recognising and honouring Aboriginal people across the nation.
  • On 13 August 2015 the Uluru Bark Petition was presented to the government with 46 signatures. Over 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people found a way to Canberra to stand together as one with the declaration of the Uluru Bark Petition.
  • Auntie Yumina Anyupa Ken, senior Elder of Ernabella, and Uncle Pepaii Carol, a well known Aboriginal artist from Uluru country, stood with over 70 Indigenous people and where the honored Elders who brought the petition before the Senate.
  • Senators Eric Abetz and Aboriginal Senator Joanna Lindgren received the Uluru Bark Petition, they thanked and respected those present who had made the trip from across Australia.
  • Now the Aboriginal people and senior Elders who have brought this declaration forth INVITE and CALL UPON the Elders and the people of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, to stand together as Indigenous Australia and ensure the institution of marriage is not redefined. By doing so they would “honour the sanctity of both the tradition of marriage and the spiritual implication of this sacred union.” (extract from the Uluru Bark Petition).