Indigenous inclusion: great for the Constitution

22 September 2011 | 0:00 - By

Living Black intern Imogen Ball on why Indigenous people should be recognised in the Constitution.

WIP 220911 CONSTITUTION STILL 09394918_1085041804

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have constantly fought to have their rights acknowledged by the Australian Government. It is hard to believe after so many years the government has failed to acknowledge and recognise Indigenous people in the Australian Constitution. The Constitution was intended to join Australia under the continuing agreement of the Australian people. It clearly does not meet its intentions if it fails to recognise the original owners of the land.
 
The SBS Living Black crew was delighted to visit a young group from the New South Wales Central Coast who had organised a recreation of Charles Perkins’ Freedom Ride. These 24 inspiring young Australians drove to country towns to obtain signatures from rural communities to fight for Aboriginal rights and recognition in the Constitution.
 
With a kangaroo-skin bound book full of signatures and a message stick from 21 rural communities, the Freedom Riders drove to the final destination: Sydney University. It was here their hard work would pay off. An inspiring speech by a student, a delighted Professor Patrick Dodson (co-chair of the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians) and an address by an original Freedom Rider in 1965 Professor Ann Curthoys topped the day off!
 
It is now up to a government advisory panel to take these views into account and make these necessary changes to the Constitution.

It was an honour to meet this young passionate group. I hope their passion will inspire others to make this change. I truly believe the recognition of Australians Indigenous people will contribute to a more peaceful, unified and prosperous nation.
After all, recognition is important to us all!

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Comments (2)

25 Sep 2011 17:29 AEST

Alex Stoney

From: Sydney, NSW

Indigenous Inclusion in Australian Constitution.

Racism is an evil we should aim to remove from human society. I believe that inclusion of different provisions for separate races in the Constitution will entrench racism in the Constitution, from which it can never be removed. Having been born in Australia, of Australian-born parents and grand-parents, I have been here before all (with a few possible exceptions) of the present-day indigenous people, and I would object to any provision which gave a special place to any present-day racial group. Any Constitutional provision for recognition of indigenous people would, I believe, do more harm than good (since legislation is so easily misused) and the Constitution would best be left unaltered.

Agree (1 people agree)    Disagree (5 people disagree) Report this
 

25 Sep 2011 17:29 AEST

Alex Stoney

From: Sydney, NSW

Indigenous Inclusion in Australian Constitution.

Racism is an evil we should aim to remove from human society. I believe that inclusion of different provisions for separate races in the Constitution will entrench racism in the Constitution, from which it can never be removed. Having been born in Australia, of Australian-born parents and grand-parents, I have been here before all (with a few possible exceptions) of the present-day indigenous people, and I would object to any provision which gave a special place to any present-day racial group. Any Constitutional provision for recognition of indigenous people would, I believe, do more harm than good (since legislation is so easily misused) and the Constitution would best be left unaltered.

Agree (0 people agree)    Disagree (2 people disagree) Report this