Spotlight on RECOGNISE and constitutional recognition

View from behind of woman knocking on a door

ANROWS is presently reviewing our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The RAP is our opportunity to take part in striving for a reconciled, just and equitable Australia for all Australians. With this in mind, we would like to raise awareness of the forthcoming referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution, and the role of RECOGNISE.

RECOGNISE, a small not-for-profit organisation has been tasked with raising awareness of and building support for this constitutional reform. The role of RECOGNISE, a part of Reconciliation Australia, has a very specific focus. It is to raise awareness of the need to end the exclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from the Australian Constitution and deal with racial discrimination in it. Australia is the only democratic country in the world whose constitution still allows for discrimination based on race. It’s also the only democratic country in the world whose constitution does not formally acknowledge its indigenous people.

RECOGNISE, now in its fifth year, will be significantly ramping up its activity in the lead-up to the proposed referendum to ensure Australians know what’s on the table and understand how their informed vote on referendum day can play a huge part in protecting all citizens from discrimination based on race, and to recognise the nation’s First Peoples. The proposed changes will be put to the people by way of referendum early in 2018.

More information about RECOGNISE is available here.    

Information is also available from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet about constitutional recognition. The Government appointed Referendum Council has also launched a website to enable Australians to contribute to the conversation.