The campaign to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in our Constitution hit regional Australia today with the Illawarra community turning out in force for a forum hosted by Stephen Jones and Senator Nova Peris.
“Ultimately this is an opportunity for all Australians to celebrate 40,000 years of this nation’s history and add to the last 226”, said Senator Peris.
“The recognise campaign is a great opportunity for two cultures to unite as one. It is about being inclusive, not exclusive and something we should all get behind.”
Stephen Jones says Australians must get behind constitutional recognition and make the most of the opportunity of bi-partisan support from both sides of politics.
“Today is about ensuring we can convert that Parliamentary support into widespread community support”, said Jones.
“In 1967 the Australian Government ran a referendum to change the constitution to make laws for all Australians and include Aboriginal people in the Census. It was overwhelmingly endorsed by Australians, winning 90.77 per cent of votes and carrying in all six states.
“Constitutional recognition will builds on this win and should make further substantive change to remove racism from the Constitution.
“It is a statement of historical truth that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People have lived here for over 40,000 years, and it is long overdue.”
“It is imperative that all Australians are on-board with the journey towards constitutional recognition. That’s part of the reason for my visit to the Illawarra today”, said Senator Peris.
“We will be working hard to engage with communities across the country to demonstrate the importance of Aboriginal Australians to our national history and culture, and showcase what a positive step constitutional recognition will be for all Australians.”