Celebrating International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
Today marks International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, a chance to celebrate the achievements, diversity and culture of Indigenous peoples around the world.
Held each year on 9 August the United Nation’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous People aims to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous population, and to recognise the special cultures, history and languages of the world’s indigenous people.
The Australian Government recognises the unique and special place of our first peoples in our nation-as custodians of our land and of the oldest continuing cultures in the world.
That’s why we have laid out ambitious targets to tackle Indigenous disadvantage and close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
We are making unprecedented investments to make sure Indigenous Australians can have a healthier future, a roof over their heads, safe communities for their children, and a good education, so that they can get a good job.
Fundamental to our efforts to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage is our commitment to building stronger relationships with Indigenous people based on mutual respect.
That’s why we delivered the National Apology, which helped build a bridge of respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
And why we are committed to the recognition of Indigenous people in the Constitution and to building momentum for this change.
The Gillard Government appointed an Expert Panel to develop options for constitutional change and work out how to recognise Indigenous people in the Constitution.
For the first time, we now have specific proposals on how to recognise Indigenous people in the Constitution.
We know that the next critical step is to build broad public awareness and community support for constitutional change. Change can only happen with the support of the majority of Australians.
We have invested $10 million to help build public awareness and community support for constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.
This important work is being led by Reconciliation Australia, supported by a reference group of business and community leaders.
Funding is now available for organisations to run local activities that promote awareness of constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.
This will give more Australians opportunities to get together and learn more about the issues, to consider the Expert Panel’s report, and to take part in the national conversation.
I encourage all Australians to get involved.
More information about constitutional recognition, including details on how to apply for funding for local activities, can be found at: www.youmeunity.org.au