Federal Government Will Amend Constitution to Recognise Indigenous Peoples of Australia

By Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Writer
Caden Pearson is a journalist based in Australia. He has a background in screenwriting and documentary. Contact him on caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au
August 8, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015

Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said the Federal Government would create an expert panel comprising indigenous leaders, constitutional law experts, both sides of politics and the public to establish how the constitution should be amended. (William West/AFP/Getty Images)
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said the Federal Government would create an expert panel comprising indigenous leaders, constitutional law experts, both sides of politics and the public to establish how the constitution should be amended. (William West/AFP/Getty Images)
A re-elected Labor Party is committed to changing the Australian constitution to recognise the nation's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Indigenous leaders Noel Pearson, Marcia Langton and Galarrwuy Yunupingu met with Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin at the Garma Festival in Arhnem Land, where she made the announcement.

The powerhouse of Indigenous leaders have given their support for the decision.

Ms Macklin said the Federal Government would create an expert panel comprising Indigenous leaders, constitutional law experts, both sides of politics and the public, to establish how the constitution should be amended.

"If constitutional change is going to happen, it needs to have very broad community support," she said.

To-date just four out of 22 referenda have been successful in Australia, she noted.

If a referendum on the recognition of Indigenous peoples in the constitution is to be successful, it will need to gather community support."

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd also threw his support behind an amendment which would recognise Indigenous peoples in Australian life.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has not yet spoken on Indigenous issues in her election campaign.

Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson is a journalist based in Australia. He has a background in screenwriting and documentary. Contact him on caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au