Reconciliation Australia Co-Chairs Ms Melinda Cilento and Dr Tom Calma have welcomed Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s announcement that Reconciliation Australia
is to lead the campaign to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in the Constitution.

Delivering the Closing the Gap report in Parliament today, the Prime Minister said “This is an opportunity for the Australian people to get involved…To find practical
information and solid ideas and to discuss them – in their homes and with their neighbours, in their community meetings and in their workplaces, in their trade unions and in their churches.”

In responding to today’s announcement Ms Cilento and Dr Calma said it was both a great honour and responsibility to be at the forefront of a national movement for constitutional recognition.

Ms Cilento said the work of the panel appointed by the Prime Minister to give advice on how constitutional recognition could be achieved, had established a strong platform to build public support through extensive consultations and research.

“As the peak national organisation building and promoting reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians, Reconciliation Australia is ideally placed to build on this work and lead the next phase.

“Achieving meaningful recognition in the Constitution was fundamental to achieving real reconciliation for the benefit of all Australians,” Ms Cilento said.

Dr Calma said Reconciliation Australia had long advocated for constitutional change to recognise the history, cultures and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

“Throughout our campaign, we have had remarkable support from a range of organisations, community groups and individuals. Working together we now have the opportunity to see this though to a successful referendum.”

“From today, Reconciliation Australia will be harnessing the good will and substantial influence of its support networks to make all Australians aware of the importance of constitutional recognition,” Dr Calma said.

Delivering the Closing the Gap report in Parliament today, the Prime Minister said “This is an opportunity for the Australian people to get involved…To find practical
information and solid ideas and to discuss them – in their homes and with their neighbours, in their community meetings and in their workplaces, in their trade unions and in their churches.”

In responding to today’s announcement Ms Cilento and Dr Calma said it was both a great honour and responsibility to be at the forefront of a national movement for constitutional recognition.

Ms Cilento said the work of the panel appointed by the Prime Minister to give advice on how constitutional recognition could be achieved, had established a strong platform to build public support through extensive consultations and research.

“As the peak national organisation building and promoting reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians, Reconciliation Australia is ideally placed to build on this work and lead the next phase.

“Achieving meaningful recognition in the Constitution was fundamental to achieving real reconciliation for the benefit of all Australians,” Ms Cilento said.

Dr Calma said Reconciliation Australia had long advocated for constitutional change to recognise the history, cultures and contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

“Throughout our campaign, we have had remarkable support from a range of organisations, community groups and individuals. Working together we now have the opportunity to see this though to a successful referendum.”

“From today, Reconciliation Australia will be harnessing the good will and substantial influence of its support networks to make all Australians aware of the importance of constitutional recognition,” Dr Calma said.

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