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  • The Australian Constitution does not currently mention Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • A referendum is required to correct this injustice and complete our Constitution
  • A process toward this goal is already underway, but requires continued and sustained support to achieve a successful outcome

Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Constitution is both an urgent piece of unfinished national business and a matter of simple justice for the first Australians. The constitutional changes required can be made a easily and pose minimal risk. There is already a groundswell of support for the move, and considerable momentum behind it. It is vital that this momentum be maintained until a referendum is held and recognition achieved.

The issue

Australia’s first peoples were deliberately excluded from the drafting of the Constitution, and were not recognised in it, apart from some discriminatory references (later removed by referendum) designed to further exclude them from any meaningful participation in our national life. They remain unrecognised in the Constitution today. This injustice to our first peoples has been perpetuated for more than a century, and now requires urgent attention. It runs totally counter to the values of the Australian people in the 21st century and to international norms.

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