A giant boomerang will be presented to Federal Parliament next month as a symbolic petition calling for constitutional change.
By
Craig Quartermaine

Source:
NITV News
29 Oct 2013 - 5:02 PM  UPDATED 29 Oct 2013 - 6:25 PM

Cairns campaigner Norman Miller will present Canberra with a giant symbolic boomerang featuring over 300 signatures.

Mr Miller hopes his innovative petition, calling for constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians, will be tabled in the House of Representatives.

However, Mr Miller isn’t the first to campaign for change and admits that the Baton of Life and the Yirrkala Bark petitions before him were significant moments in Australian history.

Last week, Josie Farrer delivered the Baton of Life petition for her constituents in her seat of the Kimberley. It was the first time a Message Stick was formally received as a tabled document along with an English written statement of the plight of the people of Beagle Bay.

The symbolism of political messages etched on culturally significant canvases were famously immortalised on the Yirrkala Bark petitions of 1963 when the Yolngu people of Yirrkala submitted petitions in English and Gumatj language. This was the first time that the Commonwealth accepted documents written in traditional Indigenous format.

Indigenous people have been writing to protest and voice their grievances since the very early stages of colonisation. These petitions date back to 1846 when the Tasmanian Aboriginal people wrote to Queen Victoria to protest their incarceration on Flinders Island.

Yet a call for Indigenous Australians to be considered equal members of Australian society still exists today.