CONSTITUTIONAL RECOGNITION OF ABORIGINAL & TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLES
NOW IS THE TIME FOR ACTION!
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are currently excluded from the Constitution of Australia. The proposed referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution presents us with a unique and historic opportunity to set things right in our country - an opportunity that Anglicare encourages all South Australians to embrace.
There are parts of our Constitution that are out of touch with 21st century Australia. Constitutions are a product of their time - Australia's was drafted over 100 years ago. It no longer reflects the country's cultural values, how we see ourselves as a nation and how we want others to see us.
It's time to remove provisions that permit discrimination based on race, to ensure Australia's Constitution protects the rights of all its citizens and to recognise the unique place Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples hold in our nation's history and contemporary society.
To advance the idea of Constitutional recognition, in December 2010 the Australian Government appointed an Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Panel's task was to consult with the community and make recommendations on options for constitutional change that could be placed before the people at a future referendum.
The Expert Panel handed its report to the Australian Government in February 2012. Copies of the report and recommendations can be downloaded here.
In February 2013 the Act of Recognition was passed by the House of Representatives, giving a two-year window to rally the support required to amend the Constitution. Recognise was established as the people's movement to facilitate public awareness and gain national support, and to bring this issue to the forefront of the minds of Australians. Anglicare is a proud partner of Recognise.
Recognise will be leading the 'Journey to Recognition', to begin 26 May, which will be taking the message of reconciliation around the country and signing up supporters in our rural towns and cities. The walk will initially travel from Victoria to South Australia and into Northern Territory. For more information vist the Recognise website (www.recognise.org.au).
This will be the largest people's movement Australia has seen since 2000 when one million Australians demonstrated their support for Reconciliation.
Why is Anglicare involved?
Anglicare believes that Aboriginal peoples - as the world’s oldest continuing culture and the original custodians of these lands and seas - must form a key part of that idea.
Anglicare is working towards a reconciled Australia, and firmly believes that Recognition in Australia's constitution is a vital next steps towards reconciliation.
It's up to YOU to make the change
The Constitution cannot be amended with the express consent of the Australian people. The succes of a future referendum requires a 'double majority'. This is:
- A majority of electors in a majority of states (four out of six states - does not include Northern Territory or Australian Capital Territory), and
- A majority of electors across Australia (including electors in the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory).
This is 50% of Australia's voting population - plus one. Your vote could make the difference.
Get involved! We encourage you to get behind this campaign, understand the issues, and tell others about it!
What can you do?
Join the movement : Sign up to Anglicare SA’s campaign for Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal People
Follow us on Facebook: Like our Facebook Cause page here
Support the Journey to Recognition: Visit www.recognise.org.au for updates on the trail and events that will be occurring as the Journey travels through your region.
For more information...
Download our factsheet and the Recommendation of the Expert Panel
Invite a speaker to speak about the issues at your workplace, school, church or community group
Visit Recognise or join their cause below: