The Wheeler Centre

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Question Time: Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians

July 15th, 2015

Episode 829 of 976 episodes

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? The panel: Madeleine Morris, Frank Brennan, Patricia Turner, George Williams and Jill Gallagher 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. Hosted by Madeleine Morris, with former Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission CEO Patricia Turner, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation CEO Jill Gallagher, ANU law professor and Indigenous Studies academic Frank Brennan and leading constitutional lawyer George Williams.

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