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50 years since Australia’s constitution allowed Aboriginals to be counted as people

TJI Pick
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cr: AAP/Marianna Massey

Published: 23 May 2017

Last updated: 4 March 2024

Next Saturday, 27 May, marks the 50th anniversary of the most decisive referendum victory in Australian history, when the nation voted to recognise Aboriginal people as part of Australia. But the referendum’s failure to give Aboriginal people what they thought they would get – true equality – holds lessons for today’s debates over constitutional recognition and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are still seeking substantive constitutional change that goes beyond mere symbolism.

Convention in Uluru to discuss Indigenous recognition – SBS 18.05.17
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates will hold a major First Nations meeting at Uluru on 24-26 May to discuss recognition of Indigenous Australians in the constitution. Referendum Council co-chairman Mark Leibler says he believes it is a very important process. Includes audio [3:27].

Lessons of 1967 referendum still apply to debates on constitutional recognition – Gabrielle Appleby & Gemma McKinnon – The Conversation 22.05.17


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The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

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