The Australian Constitution which is the basis for federal laws and the political system does not recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first peoples of Australia with full and equal citizenship.
Also the Constitution provides a head of power that permits the Commonwealth Parliament to make laws that discriminate on the basis of 'race'.
Talk the Walk forum
The Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland, in partnership with the Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Law and Recognise held a public forum to raise awareness, and discuss constitutional recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act .
This event coincided with the final leg of the national Recognise journey and was held at the Queensland University of Technology Gardens Point Campus on Wednesday, 26 November 2014.
The commentator for the forum was QUT lecturer Dr Sandra Phillips, and the panel comprised:
- Mick Gooda: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission;
- Joan Sheldon AM: former Queensland Deputy Premier;
- Ian Brown: Queensland Law Society President, and
- Stephanie Parkin: lawyer at McCullough Robertson Lawyers.
Joint Select Committee report
On 28 November 2012, the Australian Parliament agreed that a Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples be appointed to inquire into and report on steps that can be taken to progress towards a successful referendum on Indigenous constitutional recognition.
The Committee released its report in June 2015.
- Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples: final report
- Recognise website
- information about constitutional reform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
Constitutional reform resources
- Let's talk constitutional reform panel debate
Tiga Bayles hosts a panel debate on constitutional reform to find out what it could really mean for First Nations peoples.
- 2013 Social Justice and Native Title Report
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda, has endorsed constitutional reform as part of a new agenda recognising rights, responsibilities and relationships in the 2013 report.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Recognition Act 2013 (Cth)
- an Act to provide for the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and for related purposes