Jan 28, 2014

Indigenous recognition more complicated constitutional change than you think

Tony Abbott is right to wait for the right time to put constitutional recognition of Aboriginal Australians to the people. It's a more complicated process than most of the media is telling you.

Charles Richardson — Editor of The World is not Enough

Charles Richardson

Editor of The World is not Enough

The media loves Aboriginal reconciliation. It’s an opportunity for upbeat, feel-good stories: everyone wants to believe that we can all be one big happy national family. White Australia can atone for its past misdeeds, while indigenous Australia can forgive in return for acceptance.

The narrative is especially compelling when it centres on a politician like Tony Abbott, whose background casts him (perhaps unfairly) as an opponent of reconciliation and indigenous rights. When he says — as he did on Sunday — that constitutional recognition of indigenous people is “a very important national crusade” that “won’t be changing our constitution so much as completing it”, it has all the appeal of a conversion story.

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3 thoughts on “Indigenous recognition more complicated constitutional change than you think

  1. beetwo77

    I need to re-read this but in summary, the significant obstacle is that the Liberal party don’t agree with the Labor proposal?

    I thought there was going to be some information about our constitution and why changing it is difficult, not that some mob of idiots have a narrow minded idealogy.

  2. Pamela

    I remember the boys from the Salvation Army Home at Indooroopilly riding on the back of a big truck each day as they were driven to the Indooroopilly State School in the 50’s. They had no shoes.
    It was a sad sight- when we asked our father he said that these boys had no family to look after them- so the Church was caring for them. I could weep after reading this gut wrenching account to think of the terrible things done to them.
    What is it about us that we are silent in the face of man’s inhumanity to man? Cant we ever learn compassion?

    Australia has a particularly bad record of abuse of children- starting with Aboriginal children , British migrant kids, adopting out babies by force not to mention our lack of real care for Australian children today. We continue by imprisoning and punishing the children of refugees.
    All the while telling ourselves what a kind and generous people we are!!!!

  3. marant

    Our constitution is the basic set of laws on how we govern ourselves.
    There should be no reference in such a document that favours or discriminates against a particular social group, whether defined by race or a similar characteristic.
    Disadvantage should be addressed directly as such, not by labelling one race or another.
    The place for a statement on indigenous history is a national charter, if we had one.

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