Uluru Statement and a Voice to Parliament

We invite you to attend the next Food for Thought Leader's Luncheon where we will hear from guest speakers David Collard and the Hon. Fred Chaney AO.

As one of the first 50 organisations to publish a Reconciliation Action Plan, the Committee is deeply committed to reconciliation.

At this event, David Collard and the Hon. Fred Chaney AO will discuss the Uluru Statement and a Voice to Parliament.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a proposal for constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians. Through engaging over 1200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives, the statement provides a united vision for substantive and structural reform.

The voice to parliament would be a representative body giving Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders a say in law and policy affecting them. Enshrined in the constitution, it would become an institution of lasting significance for First Nations and all Australians.

We hope you can attend this event to find out more about these important steps for reconciliation and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Meet our speakers and panellists

David Collard Image
David Collard

Aboriginal Consultant

David Collard is a Nyoongar man from the south-west of Western Australia and comes from the Ballardong Country east of Perth in the dry Wheatbelt land along the Avon River but has ancestors from both Ballardong and Wadjuk.

David Collard presently works as an Aboriginal Consultant after working across several government agencies at both State and Federal levels. A recent contract included the development of a state-wide Aboriginal engagement framework to increase Aboriginal participation in natural resource management. Previously David worked in the Department of Water and developed opportunities for the engagement of the Aboriginal community in water resource management.

David has worked in Aboriginal affairs for over 30 years. He enjoys the challenge of working outside the “box” as a Nyoongar public servant and is thrilled at the opportunity to increase Aboriginal engagement in NRM. David Recently completed the Public Sector Management course delivered by Flinders University, which he adds to the Degree from Curtin University in Social Sciences. David has been on several community committees and recently was appointment to the National Indigenous Advisory Group with the Forestry Stewardship Council as the WA representative.

Presently David is working with the South-West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council to develop a regional framework for engagement in NRM and utilising the regional governance structures to improve the project delivery by Aboriginal contractors. The Aboriginal engagement framework identifies the need to increase Aboriginal participation in the decision-making process at regional level.

He also serves on the following committees: the Muresk Institute Advisory Committee, the Perth Employment and Enterprise Development Aboriginal Corporation, and the National Forest Stewardship Council – Indigenous Working Group.

David has now developed the Aboriginal NRM pathway for the Aboriginal community to build capacity at community level that will enable the development of economic, social, environmental and cultural projects. The pathway will assist the state government to offer more meaningful opportunities during settlement discussions for native title but also to establish long-term sustainability for the land and the people. The Nyoongar NRM Pathway project was implemented in 2017 in Quairading and is now being extended to Fremantle College in 2019.

In 2017 David was engaged by SWALSC to assist the Nation Marine Parks to facilitate a Nyoongar Marine workshop with Nyoongar Elders to contribute Nyoongar cultural values to the new management plans of the National Marine Parks for the South West region. This also includes working closely with Australian Marine Science Alliance and the WA Fish Strategy.

The Hon. Fred Chaney AO Image
The Hon. Fred Chaney AO

Fred Chaney was born in Perth in 1941. He graduated in law at the University of Western Australia in 1962 and practiced law in New Guinea until 1966 and then in Western Australia until he entered the Senate in 1974. Fred was involved in the Aboriginal Legal Service in a voluntary capacity in the early 1970’s. He was in the Senate until 1990 and was Leader of the Liberal/National Opposition in the Senate from 1983 to 1990. He was Member for Pearce in the House of Representatives from 1990 to 1993. Among his Ministerial appointments in the Fraser Government were Aboriginal Affairs, Social Security and Minister Assisting the Minister for National Development and Energy. After leaving Parliament he undertook research into Aboriginal Affairs policy and administration as a Research Fellow with the Graduate School of Management at the University of Western Australia from 1993 to 1995. He was appointed Chancellor of Murdoch University in 1995 and continued in that capacity until 2003.

In 1994 he co founded the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation established to help young Aboriginal people succeed which now has over 30 projects in government schools across Australia involving about 2000 students and continues to serve as its deputy President. In 1994 he was appointed as a Member of the National Native Title Tribunal, and was a Deputy President of the Tribunal from 2000 to 2007. From 2007 he has served as a board member of Central Desert Native Title Services which has assisted native title holders to achieve recognition over large areas of he Western deserts and works with them to achieve social economic and cultural gains from their native title.

In January 1997 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia.

He served as Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia Ltd from 2000 to 2005 and continued as a Board member until 2014. He continues as a board member of Reconciliation WA. He chaired Desert Knowledge Australia from 2005 to 2014. In 2007 he chaired the Consultation Committee on a Human Rights Act for Western Australia. In 2008 he was the first recipient of the Sir Ronald Wilson Leadership Award for leadership in combating racism. In 2011 he was a member of the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians which reported to the Australian Government in 2012.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Committee For Perth acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.