Reconciliation Australia welcomes support for constitutional recognition
By Reconciliation Australia Co-Chairs Ms Melinda Cilento and Dr Tom CalmaDr Tom Calma and Prime Minister Julia Gillard
The Prime Minister’s continuing commitment to constitutional recognition is exciting and we are pleased that Reconciliation Australia will take a lead role in engaging and educating Australians on this important topic.
Recognition and reconciliation go hand in hand. This past year we have been out in the community talking about the importance of recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our nation’s founding document. What we heard is there’s an appetite for change. But what we also heard was most people are unaware of what the current situation is.
For example, many people assume that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are already recognised in the Constitution and most are unaware that laws exist that can exclude or discriminate against any group based on race.
If we are to change this we need a majority of Australians to agree this does not reflect who we are today.
Over 100 years ago the people of six colonies came together to write a Constitution and form a nation.
In 1967 we voted overwhelmingly YES to change that Constitution to allow Aboriginal people to be counted in the census.
What we have before us is an opportunity now to bring that Constitution into line with our modern thinking and values of equality for all Australians.
Building public awareness is the next step towards constitutional change and we want to hear your thoughts and opinions.
We want to keep the conversation going.
We want to spread the word.
And we want you to be part of changes that make us a better nation now and into the future.