Missed opportunity to progress Aboriginal rights
Posted 6 Nov 2017 07:00PM
In May 2017, a historic convention was held in Alice Springs to discuss Indigenous constitutional recognition. Hundreds of Indigenous people from around Australia were invited by the government to attend a summit at Uluru to consider whether a referendum on constitutional recognition was needed, and what it would look like.
The meeting resulted in a consensus that there needed to be a representational advisory body of Indigenous people for the Australian Parliament.
Why go to the trouble, giving hope to a great many people, only to determine the idea 'too ambitious'? What right does Prime Minister Turnbull have to predetermine what Australians will or won't accept? This question could be put to Australians in a referendum.
Experiences in other countries suggest that mainstream parliamentary systems rarely display a strong record of incorporating indigenous peoples into their process. To address this, four main approaches have been developed.
Anastasia Moore is a Project Officer for the Australian Province of the Society of Jesus working on the Society's engagement with issues related to Aboriginal Australians. Previously she worked with the Department of Justice on various social justice projects, and spent over 12 years living and working in remote NT Aboriginal communities, performing a variety of roles for local government.