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Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians

When

Public opinion is now overwhelmingly in favour of the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia’s Constitution. What would be the symbolic and practical implications of such a change and who is leading the push for a referendum?

Join us for an exploration of the history – and potential legal, social and philosophical impacts – of constitutional change. How was our Constitution drafted, and how did Indigenous Australians come to be excluded at the birth of Australia’s federation? Why do discriminatory racial references remain in our Constitution, even after amendments to the document were carried in 1967?

Question Time hands the discussion to you for a full hour of Q&A with our expert panellists. Unpack the laws and philosophies that have come to bear on the autonomy and acknowledgement of Indigenous Australians from terra nullius, protectionism and forced assimilation to land rights, self-determination and potentially imminent constitutional recognition.

Featuring

Madeleine Morris

Madeleine Morris is a Melbourne-based reporter for ABC television’s 7.30. She was formerly a presenter for the BBC in London and reported from dozens of countries before returning to her native Australia. She is the author of Guilt-Free Bottle-Feeding: Why Your Formula-Fed Baby Can Grow ... Read more

Patricia Turner

An Arrernte and Gurdanji woman, Patricia Turner has 40 years experience working primarily in Aboriginal affairs at the local, regional and national levels. She has had a long and varied career in the Australian Public Service, with senior roles including CEO of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islan... Read more

Jill Gallagher

Jill Gallagher AO is a Gunditjmara woman from Western Victoria who has worked within, led and advocated for the Victorian Aboriginal community all her life.  Since 1998 this has been through the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), now one of Australia’s lar... Read more

Frank Brennan

Frank Brennan is a Jesuit priest, professor of law at the Australian Catholic University, and adjunct professor at the College of Law and the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University. Brennan has been actively committed to Indigenous reconciliation, justice and re... Read more

George Williams

George Williams AO is one of Australia’s leading constitutional lawyers and public commentators. He is a professor of law at the University of New South Wales and has written and edited 34 books on Australian government and the Constitution, including Everything You Need to Know about th... Read more

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The Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.