Australians begin journey to recognition
Today Australians step up their efforts to build public awareness and community support for the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our nation’s constitution.
The Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin will join the Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus and the Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett today to launch the Journey to Recognition, a major public awareness campaign that will see thousands of Australians make their way by foot, bike and car across the country to build support for constitutional change.
The journey begins from Federation Square in Melbourne today, coinciding with the start of Reconciliation Week and National Sorry Day, and will conclude at the Garma Festival in the Northern Territory, in August.
The Gillard Government is committed to recognising Indigenous people in Australia’s Constitution. We want meaningful reform that reflects the hopes and aspirations of Indigenous people and unites the nation.
The Government agrees with the findings of the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition that a referendum be held at a time when it has the most chance of success.
We are investing $10 million towards the RECOGNISE campaign, led by Reconciliation Australia, to continue to build community support for constitutional change.
To date, more than 137,000 Australians have registered their support for constitutional recognition on the RECOGNISE website.
This year’s Federal Budget also includes $1.3 million over two years to support the work of the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to establish a parliamentary and community consensus on referendum proposals.
Australia moved a step closer to constitutional recognition earlier this year when the Act of Recognition – which recognises the unique and special place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – was passed by the national Parliament.
The theme for National Reconciliation Week this year is ‘Let’s Talk Recognition’, providing an opportunity for all Australians to celebrate the contributions, cultures and history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and reflect their place in our nation.
For more information about the Journey to Recognition, and to get involved in building support for constitutional change, visit www.recognise.org.au.
For more information on National Reconciliation Week, visit www.reconciliation.org.au.