Next step towards Constitutional Recognition

Last week the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, announced that the Australian Government has established a panel to review public support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander constitutional recognition.

The review follows on from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Recognition Act 2013, which passed unanimously through the Australian Parliament last year, and is the Government’s next step towards a referendum on the issue.

The panel is comprised of former Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon John Anderson AO, Deputy Campaign Director of Recognise, Ms Tanya Hosch, and Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Mr Richard Eccles.

Outlining the aims of the panel, Minister Scullion said; “The review panel will work with the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to progress the Government’s commitment towards a successful referendum.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the first inhabitants of this nation, and recognising them in our Constitution presents an historic opportunity to acknowledge their unique culture and history, and their enormous contribution to this nation,” the Minister said.

“This would complete our Constitution.”

The review panel will be required to provide a report to the Minister for Indigenous Affairs by 28 September 2014.

The Government is expected to announce a draft amendment to the Constitution for public consultation in late 2014.

You can read more about the review panel here.

(Image: Minister Nigel Scullion joins ANTaR Acting national director Jane Powles and Recognise supporters in WA as part of the Journey to Recognition)