Weekly Topic
This week's topic

A statement about the First Peoples of Australia

A statement about the First Peoples of Australia could acknowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples lived on the continent and its islands before the British arrived.
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Discussion paper

Respond to a Discussion Paper outlining questions that may be addressed in a referendum. Audio recordings in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are also available.

Read and respond

"The 1967 referendum voted to include Aboriginal people in the census and allow the Commonwealth to create specific laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples." Fact 1
"27 May 2017 will be the 50 year anniversary of the 1967 referendum to include Aboriginal people in the census and allow the Commonwealth to create laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples." Fact 2
"The Australian Constitution was drafted without any consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples." Fact 3
"Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have been calling for changes to recognise their rights and interests as the First Peoples of Australia since the early 1900s." Fact 4
"In 1988, the Constitution Commission’s report initially recommended that the Constitution be amended to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples." Fact 5
"The preamble unsuccessfully proposed in the 1999 referendum included a line that honoured Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians as the nation’s first peoples." Fact 6
"In 1992, the High Court handed down its decision in Mabo v Queensland (No 2), holding that native title survived the acquisition of sovereignty by the British." Fact 7
"Constitutional recognition has been supported by every sitting Prime Minister since John Howard. In 2011 former Prime Minister Julia Gilliard established an Expert Panel to advise on a model for recognition and the process towards a successful referendum." Fact 8
"The Act of Recognition 2013 was enacted to demonstrate Parliament’s bipartisan commitment to working towards constitutional recognition." Fact 9
"NSW was the first State government to support recognition in the Australian Constitution in 2014." Fact 10
"NSW formally recognised Indigenous peoples in its Constitution in 2010." Fact 11
"The Tasmanian government is currently working towards recognising its Aboriginal people by amending the preamble to its Constitution Act 1934." Fact 12
"South Australia amended its Constitution Act 1934 to recognise Indigenous South Australian peoples in 2013." Fact 13
"Queensland amended its Constitution to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders in 2010 in the Constitution (Preamble) Amendment Act 2010." Fact 14
"Victoria was the first State in Australia to give constitutional recognition to Aboriginal people within the Constitution (Recognition of Aboriginal People) Act 2004." Fact 15
"Western Australia recognised Aboriginal people in the preamble to its Constitution in September 2015." Fact 16
"The Constitution defines ‘Parliament’ as consisting of the Queen, a Senate and a House of Representatives." Fact 17
"The first draft of the Constitution was written on the steamship Lucinda over the Easter weekend in 1891." Fact 18
"During the 1890s, representatives from the colonies met at constitutional conventions to finalise the Constitution which would unite them as one nation. Indigenous people were not represented at the conventions." Fact 19
"The Constitution’s final draft was approved by a referendum held in each colony between June 1899 and July 1900." Fact 20

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Dialogues

The Council is consulting with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country on what form any constitutional recognition should take.

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