Reconciliation Australia has welcomed amendments to the South Australian Constitution passed by the South Australia Parliament last week which officially acknowledge Aboriginal people.
Reconciliation Australia CEO, Leah Armstrong, said South Australia was the fourth State to recognise First Australians in their Constitution and this initiative will add momentum to national moves for a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia’s national constitution.
“I would like to congratulate the Parliament of South Australia for recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and making the important change to their Constitution,” Ms Armstrong said.
South Australia’s Constitutional amendments include a statement of acknowledgement and respect which:
- Records the Apology to the Stolen Generation given in Parliament on 28 May 1997;
- Acknowledges and respects Aboriginal peoples as the State’s first peoples and nations;
- Recognises Aboriginal peoples as traditional owners and occupants of the land and waters in South Australia;
- Acknowledges that the Aboriginal peoples have endured past injustices and dispossession of their traditional lands and waters.
Ms Armstrong said the South Australian change is a key moment in the broader reconciliation journey and all Australians need to get on board.
“Greater efforts are needed to engage all Australians and gain more support on a national level to raise awareness of constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” she concluded.
Reconciliation Australia encourages all Australians to get engaged and participate in the journey towards recognition and reconciliation and to support the campaign for constitutional change.