Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has today announced its support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which calls for the recognition of Indigenous Australians in the nation’s constitution.

A ‘historic offering of peace’, the Uluru Statement from the Heart was endorsed in 2017 by a gathering of 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates in Uluru.

The Statement calls for three reforms; a constitutionally enshrined First Nations Voice to Parliament, a process for agreement-making (treaty) with First Nations people through a Makarrata Commission, and truth-telling about Australia’s history led by Indigenous Australians.

On National Sorry Day 2021, the Uluru Statement from the Heart was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize for its “dedication to bringing Australia’s First Nations people together around a clear and comprehensive agenda for healing and peace”.

Professor Megan Davis, a Cobble Cobble woman from Queensland, constitutional lawyer and Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous at UNSW Sydney and a contributor to the Uluru Statement of the Heart, said:

“We are thrilled professional footballers have accepted the invitation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. This is a tremendous show of support for a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament. 

“PFA joins thousands of Australians supporting the official campaign led by the First Nations leadership, the Uluru Dialogue, as we push together towards a referendum. It is time for a better future, for structural change for First Nations. 

“Football is a global sport. It is the first sport of many Australians. Sport plays an important role in Australian life and for First Nations communities, and support like this from the PFA is vital as we move to a referendum on a Voice to Parliament.”

Lydia Williams, PFA Executive Member and Matildas goalkeeper said:
“As a proud Noongar woman, enshrining an Indigenous Voice to Parliament would be a significant and meaningful step in empowering our people. Having a recognised voice will allow us to make decisions on laws and policies that affect our communities, families and our lives and would be a huge step towards genuine reconciliation.”

Alex Wilkinson, PFA President, Sydney FC captain and former Socceroo said:

“Australian football has a rich history of Indigenous contribution, from Charles Perkins, Harry Williams and John Moriarty to present Matildas competing in the Asian Cup this week, including Lydia and Kyah Simon. 

“By endorsing the Uluru Statement from the Heart, we accept the invitation to walk with First Nations people and do so because we believe that through unity and togetherness, we can improve our country for everyone.” 

Travis Dodd, the Socceroos’ first ever Indigenous goal scorer, said:

“Sport – and our global game of football – is a powerful vehicle for positive change. The players are proud to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Doing so reinforces the PFA’s support for a First Nations voice on matters impacting Indigenous Australians.”