• Friday, May 29, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:38 am

Aboriginal Australians meet to discuss first chance of recognition

  • Published at 12:51 am May 25th, 2017
Aboriginal Australians meet to discuss first chance of recognition
Aboriginal Australian leaders are meeting at the sacred landmark of Uluru to decide how the country’s first inhabitants, who date back about 50,000 years before British colonisers arrived, should be recognised in the constitution for the first time. There are about 700,000 Aborigines in a population of 23 million but they suffer disproportionately high rates of suicide, alcohol abuse, domestic violence and imprisonment, tracking near the bottom in almost every economic and social indicator. Constitutional recognition of Aborigines is a complex issue in a country which previously administered its indigenous people under flora and fauna laws. This week’s conference comes before an anticipated national referendum on recognition. If successful, it would bring Australia into line with Canada, New Zealand and the United States as formally recognising their indigenous populations. Senator Patrick Dodson, one of Australia’s most senior indigenous politicians, said the conference was about forming a clear view on what indigenous Australians wanted. “These talks have profound significance as a major chance for indigenous Australians to decide whether they want to be recognised in the constitution or not,” Dodson told Reuters. “If they do want to be recognised, they need to advise on how they want to be so.” Progress was made in 1967 when a referendum allowed Aborigines citizenship. But that was all. Aborigines face a 10-year gap in life expectancy compared with other Australians and make up 27 percent of the prison population, but are just three percent of the total population. After the three-day event at what was formerly called Ayers Rock, a report will be presented to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the opposition leader ahead of the proposed referendum as early as this year. A referendum is required to make changes to the constitution. “It is vitally important our first Australians consider and debate the models of recognition free of political interference and the diversity of views and opinions within the indigenous communities are discussed,” Turnbull told parliament on Wednesday. Academic Harry Hobbs, who researches constitutional law and indigenous rights at the University of New South Wales, said there were several models of recognition to consider. “It is quite a broad spectrum of what the referendum proposal might be: a statement of acknowledgement, modifying the law-making power over indigenous people, a racial non-discrimination clause and removing sections of the constitution,” he said. “Further discussions may include a body made up of elected indigenous peoples who would advise parliament on laws or a treaty between the state and indigenous people.”
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail