Peace Foundation joins RECOGNISE

Forty six years after aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders won the right to be counted as Australian citizens indigenous leaders are again preparing to rally for constitutional recognition. The Campaign RECOGNISE is a Recognisegrassroots, people’s movement of all Australians, to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and cultures in Australia’s Constitution. It brings together all Australians to repair the long and historical exclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution by raising awareness that change is necessary for a successful referendum.

Our Constitution, Australia’s founding document, written more than a century ago, did not recognise the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who had lived on this land for more than 40,000 years and who had kept alive the world’s oldest continuous cultures. It cited Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples only to discriminate. For the first sixty years of our democracy Indigenous Australians could not vote and they were not counted as citizens until 1967.

In an Australia that prides itself as being egalitarian and fair-minded it is a time to ensure that the Constitution recognises the first Australians. This will help close the indigenous disadvantage gap and proclaim a new period of unity and reconciliation.

On Sunday 26th May (Sorry Day) at Federation Square Tanya Hosch, the young indigenous leader and deputy chair of the of the Recognition Campaign, launched RECOGNISE. She said that the referendum will be a choice between unity and separation.

Also, inspired by AFL legend Michael Long’s ‘The Long Walk’, campaigners lead by Michael Long began ‘Journey to Recognition’ at Melbourne’s Federation Square to take the message of the movement into the bush and through the heart of Australia. The journey will continue in relay to the Northern Territory. We, in South Australia, will be able to participate in the journey from June 15 (SA border) to June 30 (Adelaide).

Please let us all take action today for inclusiveness, equity and respect by helping to enroll supporters and by encouraging others to get message ‘RECOGNISE’ out to family, friends and networks; see here

The referendum will be held when success is assured. It is the next step in reconciling our past and living in peace.

Aboriginal artists give their reasons for supporting RECOGNISE:

“Until that [constitutional recognition] is addressed, then we truly can’t go forward as a people, as a nation, as Australians, as a whole.” ARCHIE ROACH, Singer and Songwriter
“As musicians, recognition from our peers is important to us. As Aboriginal Australians, recognition from our Constitution is even more important. ” MANDAWUY YUNUPINGU, Yothu Yindi frontman. Reference.