A breakaway group walked out of the Uluru Convention, claiming it was a flawed process. The delegates were from Victoria and Dubbo, and included a large group of supporters.
At the time, Wiradjuri elder Jenny Munro condemned the Referendum Council’s efforts to support constitutional recognition.
"It's not a dialogue, it's a one-way conversation. Every time we try and raise an issue our voices are silenced," she said.
"They are not looking at any alternative options other than the Noel Pearson road map. And like Native Title that will prove to be an abject failure."
Victorian delegate, Lidia Thorpe, said her delegation had come to represent a number of nations with the greatest respect and integrity, and hopeful to reach an agreement - but said such an agreement was no longer possible.
“We as sovereign First Nations people reject constitutional recognition. We do not recognise occupying power or their sovereignty, because it serves to disempower, and takes away our voice," she said.
“We demand a sovereign treaty with an independent sovereign treaty commission, and appropriate funds allocated."
Referendum Council response
The Referendum Council responded to the walk out saying that the process had been “a hard journey”, but it was still an important one.
"The recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as human beings," council member Phillip Wilyuka said.
“We came to this conference here to have a say and put in a strong position to be recognised ... That’s the only thing we are here for," he added.
“Coming together as one voice to send a message out to white Australia to be recognised in the Constitution, so that we can too live in harmony and work together and live together.”
Report receives mix-reactions
Since that walkout, and the release of the Referendum Council's Final Report there has been a mixture of support and disagreement over the proposals and process.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's initial reaction to the report was cautious, saying it contained "big ideas," but was "small on detail".
But member of the Prime Minister's Indigenous Advisory Council, Chris Sarra, told NITV's The Point in July that Mr Turnbull was "very interested in the essence of the Uluru Statement" and the report's recommendations.
Mr Sarra said a voice enshrined in the constitution should be something we "aspire to", but he said we need to be patient, and not rush the process.
Indigenous politicians, Linda Burney and Pat Dodson, expressed surprise at the recommendations, and some disappointment that they didn't address the race clauses in the constitution.
Other responses were more scathing towards the report, calling for treaty despite this sitting outside of the Council's terms of reference.
Wiradjuri and Ngunnawal elder Les Coe said an advisory body does not go far enough, and that treaty and recognition of sovereignty is the answer.
"If you want a nice and easy question you want to put to the Australian people, the question should be treaty yes or no, it's pretty simple.”
Michael Anderson from the Tent Embassy released a statement about the report’s proposals, saying the Referendum Council “failed to understand the resolve of constructive organised grassroots resistance”.
While lawyer and activist Michael Mansell told the ABC that the report didn't honour the outcome of the Uluru Convention.
"At Uluru, 250 people from across the country said they wanted change of substance and we talked about a treaty, a truth and justice commission, a new national body, as well as constitutional recognition," he said.
"The final report delivered only symbolic recognition in the form of an advisory body."
"Such a body can do nothing. It cannot make laws, cannot deliver services, administer any revenue and would supervise nothing."
Meanwhile support for the recommendations came in the form of a joint-statement in late July from senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander figures and supporters, following a meeting called by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar and Reconciliation Australia co-chair Tom Calma.
It calls on "the leadership of this country to support the Referendum Council’s first recommendation to have a voice to Parliament, to have a body that enables us to determine our affairs”.
The full list of signatories:
June Oscar AO
Professor Tom Calma AO
Pat Anderson AO
Professor Megan Davis
Jackie Huggins AM
Mark Yettica Paulson