31 May 2017

Leaders gather in Uluru to discuss constitutional recognition

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Indigenous communities around Australia are suffering from poverty and neglect.

Despite the fact that this for long has been a known issue and the government keeps coming up with various strategies and plans, the problem continues.

Hundreds of members from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have come together for the National Indigenous Constitutional Convention in Uluru this week, to discuss constitutional changes.

The aim is to establish what recognition means to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia. The information will then inform a final referendum that will be handed to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

Labor’s Linda Burney, the first Indigenous woman elected to the lower house, recalls to when she was ten years old in 1967, the year when Indigenous Australians were first allowed to be counted in the process.

Now, as a politician, she has another opportunity to drive change.

"Our job as politicians and as the parliament will be to receive the report, receive the outcomes of Uluru and work with those outcomes in terms of putting forward constitutional reform, the question and the timeframe for a constitutional referendum," Burney said according to News.com.

"The time has come in this country for Australia to finish the job of truth-telling in terms of our referendum, recognising aboriginal people, removing the race powers and looking at the other issues that come out of Uluru," Burney continued.

As leaders meet to discuss a rigorous principled approach, with a focus on the already existing variety of legal arrangements for Indigenous people across Australia. Since 1901, only eight out of 44 referendums have succeeded.
“We have a synthesis of the twelve dialogues from around the country, and we’ve pulled out of that some guiding principles … that will underscore the discussion,” said Pat Anderson said, Referendum Council co-chair, according to the Australian.

Amongst them, she said, was the crucial principle that “we will not do anything that abrogates our sovereignty”.
Specifically to discuss driving economic independence through strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander enterprises and practical employment strategies, Akolade brings you the 4th National Indigenous Economic Development Forum, returning to Cairns this 28-30 June 2017. 
Join us to hear from leaders across sectors and across the nation on strategies to strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses and communities, create sustainable job opportunities and effective pathways into employment.
Written by: Mimmie Wilhelmson
Mimmie grew up in Sweden and first came to Australia as a backpacker after high school. After travelling around the country for two years she returned to Europe and pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism in London. But the longing for Australia and the sun became too strong. After having worked for some time in the media industry, Mimmie decided to make a change and swap the news for conferences. She now gets to do what she loves the most, meeting new people and keep learning about cultures and issues while producing conferences on current topics.

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