The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia have long been demanding a greater say in the matters that affect their lives. This is, in part, an international issue: Australia's standing with other countries, particularly in our region, can be affected by negative perceptions of the place given to our First Nations peoples; and we can learn usefully from the experience of other counties such as Canada and New Zealand in their management of parallel issues.
In 2015, the Referendum Council was established to consult with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia on their views on meaningful recognition in Australia's Constitution. These Regional Dialogues across Australia culminated in the National Constitutional Convention at Uluru in May 2017: the Uluru Statement from the Heart was released to the people of Australia (and not our leaders) and sets out their matters of concern and the three key elements to address their concerns: Voice, Treaty, Truth.
On 23 March 2023, the Prime Minister of Australia announced the details of the proposed changes to the Constitution and the proposed referendum to establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples Voice to the Parliament and the Executive. On 30 March, the Attorney-General of Australia tabled the relevant legislation in the Australian Parliament.
Australia is not alone on the global stage in having to deal with how it dealt with its Indigenous peoples. Many other countries around the world share similar colonial histories. So how have other countries dealt with these matters? How many other countries have developed similar arrangements such that the Indigenous peoples have a Voice to their national Parliaments and Executives?
This event will outline the origins of the Voice proposal in Australia as a prelude to how several other colonial countries around the world have established similar arrangements, and what it means for public polity. Dr Harry Hobbs, Associate Professor of Law at UTS, will speak followed by commentary from Dr Ed Wensing.
REGISTRATION CLOSES AT 4:00PM AEST ON Tuesday, May 16.
We will have space for a limited number of participants in-person at the Glover Cottages, tickets to be pre-paid . Once the limit for in-person attendees is reached, tickets will no longer be sold on the website or at the door. In-person attendees will get priority during the Q & A session.
Refreshments will be served from 6pm at Glover Cottages.
This event will also be streamed online via Zoom. Register by clicking the "get tickets" button below. Once you have registered, you will receive a follow-up confirmation email on the day of the event (Tuesday, May 16) containing details of the Zoom link and how to join the event.
The event will start at 6.30pm AEST (Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne time), Tuesday May 16.
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