NSW Premier Mike Baird has declared his support for a federal referendum on Indigenous constitutional recognition, alongside Opposition leader John Robertson.
The push announced on Tuesday has been welcomed by Indigenous youth such as northeast Arnhem woman Budat Mununggurr.
The Yolngu woman told SBS it was time for Australia to have “both heroes, black and white”.
“We have a long and impressive history that is not recognised and needs to be recognised,” she said.
“It’s about taking one step at a time and I feel like recognition is the first step.”
A referendum is unlikely to take place until 2017, but NSW Premier Mr Baird said NSW was leading the way on the issue.
“This state is home to more than 175,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – about a third of the national Indigenous population – so we have a responsibility to lead the national debate,” he said.
“I'm proud the NSW Government has become the first state to back this campaign, which provides a unique opportunity to include a rightful acknowledgement of this nation’s first people in our founding document, the Australian Constitution.”