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1 PowerPoint created by Daniel Malcon You Me UnityAustralian Constitutional Recognition Of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander PeoplesPowerPoint created by Daniel Malcon
2 Australian Constitution The Constitution is the basis for our laws and political system. A lot has changed since the Constitution was written in 1901.Nowadays many Australians would be surprised to know that the Constitution still includes the possibility for discrimination based on your race, and ignores Australia’s First Peoples and their role as Custodians of the World’s Oldest continuing Culture.
3 Proposed changes to Constitution Ideas already raised by constitutional experts for constitutional change include:• A Statement of Recognition in a Preamble to the Constitution, or in the body of the Constitution, acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ distinct cultures, identities and heritage, their prior ownership and custodianship of the land, and their ongoing contribution to Australian society.• A Statement of Values in a Preamble or in the Constitution itself, which would include both recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and also set out the fundamental values of our society such as our personal freedoms, the rule of law, racial and gender equality, and our commitment to democratic government.• Repeal or amendment of provisions in the Constitution currently based on racial discrimination• Creation in the Constitution of a new guarantee of non-discrimination and racial equality• New powers for the Australian Government to legislate to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and heritage, and to redress historical disadvantage.
4 The Expert PanelIn December 2010, following nominations by the public, the Australian Government announced the membership of the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.The Panel consists of a range of respected and accomplished individuals, including Indigenous and community leaders, constitutional experts and parliamentary members. The Panel will be co-chaired by Professor Patrick Dodson and Mr Mark Leibler AC.
5 So get involved and have your say – it's your country, your constitution By December 2011, after a period of consideration, discussion and consultation with all Australians, the Panel will advise the government about the options for formally recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution.You Me Unity is the national conversation about updating our Constitution to recognise our First Peoples and define equality for all Australians.
6 Submissions http://www.youmeunity.org.au/have-your-say/submissions Listed below are some of the submissions that the You Me and Unity have received.Recognition is long overdueI am also of the view that Section 25 should be removed from theConstitution. I also favour the creation of set federal parliamentaryseats for Indigenous Australians (which, as I argued in the Federal Law Reviewin 2006, pp , would not necessarily require constitutional amendment).Support the recognition of Australia's first peoples in the Australian Constitution. I think that it is a valuable, accurate and timely addition to our national guiding document.
7 Surveys http://www.youmeunity.org.au/surveys Should a new section be added to the Constitution so that the Australian Government could create agreements with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities that would have the same effect as Commonwealth laws?Should recognition be inserted into the body of the constitution?Should a guarantee of non-discrimination and racial equality for all Australians be inserted in the Constitution?Should recognition be in a new preamble inserted into the beginning of the Constitution?Should Section 25 be deleted from the Australian Constitution to remove the suggestion that an Australian voter could be excluded from voting on the basis of race?Should the Constitution be amended to ensure that no laws can be made which discriminate against any Australian on the basis of race?Should Section 51(xxvi) (the race power) of the Constitution be repealed or amended to ensure that laws cannot discriminate against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians?Should recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples be accompanied by a Statement of Values?Does the Constitution adequately reflect who we are as a nation today?