Changing the Australian Constitution to recognise and acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in a meaningful and respectful way moves us all further along the road to Reconciliation. It contributes to healing past injustices and to building an authentic foundation for us as a nation to look to as a source of pride.
In 1901, when our current Constitution was drafted, the writers had a particular vision for this land and its people. Guided by the prevailing values of the time, their vision did not recognise a place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the new nation. Today we know that this vision was limited and unjust, and that it no longer represents the values of Australians.
The Federal Government asked for a panel of experts to consider changes to our founding document. Changes that would include removing the government to make laws based on race and recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander as the first people of this land. You can read their report and more on the You Me Unity website or fill in your details to receive their newsletter.
We have before us the rare opportunity to consider our collective values and identity, and to participate in an important act of Reconciliation. The position presented below in this submission represents NSWRC's vision for this important process as the next step institutional step in reconciling our Nation.
We would like to thank all members who contributed to the development process of this document; significantly guiding the direction of the NSWRC submission.
Particular thanks also to Alex Kilpatrick who drafted, researched and prepared the report. This document has been submitted to the Expert Panel through the You Me Unity website.