the dreaming

re-visioning Aboriginal Sense of Place


Click on an Arrow at the end of the Quote above or on a Dot to advance to a different Quote

Unless otherwise indicated, the quotes are from Robert Lawlor's "Voices of the First Day"

Please note there is no intention to offend by using the words "Aborigines" or "Aboriginal" or "Indigenous"

To learn what a TREATY would mean -  click  HERE

RECOGNISE Aboriginal Sovereignty by Treaty

The founding legal document for the Australian nation is the Constitution, which came into effect on January 1, 1901. The only way to change the constitution is through a referendum.  A referendum needs a double majority - support from the majority of states and an overall national majority.


Download the 2012 Expert Panel Report of "Recognition" in PDF from the bottom of  THIS  page

Download the 2015 Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Report   HERE

Note:  download the free PDF Reader  HERE  if you need it, but un-tick the McAffee option if you don't want it

Read an Australian Professor of Law's viewpoint on the proposed changes at the Jurist page below.

Anne Twomey, Professor of Constitutional Law, Sydney, Australia


"Aussies 4 First Nations" provides the thoughts of Natalie Cromb, a Gamileraay woman - whom is a legal professional, writer, mother, lover, daughter, sister, cousin, political agitator and human rights and social justice advocate. 

She is also, in her words, an unapologetic advocate for a Treaty.  She says:

Despite noted Indigenous support, campaigns such as the Constitutional "Recognise" change, are looked upon with suspicion mainly because of the fact that the question remains over whether it would affect the sovereignty of Indigenous people, especially with respect to land rights.


Four of the proposed changes put forth by the  Expert Panel  are:

  • The removal of section 25 which states that the States can ban people from voting based on their race;
  • The removal of section 51(xxvi) which can be used to pass laws that discriminate against people based on their race;
  • The insertion of a new section to section 51, being 51A, to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to preserve the Australian Government’s ability to pass laws for the ‘benefit’ of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
  • The insertion of a new section 127A recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages were this country’s first tongues, while confirming that English is Australia’s national language.


Natalie states in her Blog:  Most constitutional law experts who have expressed their support for constitutional recognition have also expressed their support for Treaty due to the fact that they consider that the changes to the Australian Constitution merely redress the many racist provisions within the nation’s founding document and the issue of sovereignty must be conveyed in a Treaty.

Through the doctrine of terra nullius – Indigenous people were subverted as savages and this was integrated into the Australian Constitution which was drafted on the premise of Indigenous people being so inferior as to not garner a mention and considered to be a fading race in any event.  Terra nullius was a deliberate social construction designed to enable settlement, parcel of land at a time to enable expansion of colonial settlements and to do so without any compensation to the lawful owners.

Constitutional change is symbolic, it is not a cure all.

Posted by Natalie Cromb on 24 June 2015

As at the date of this Post, the "Recognise" Expert Panel also recommends that a new Section 116A be inserted.

Section 116A provides:

(1) The Commonwealth, a State or a Territory shall not discriminate on the grounds of race, colour or ethnic or national origin.

(2) Subsection (1) does not preclude the making of laws or measures for the purpose of overcoming disadvantage, ameliorating the effects of past discrimination, or protecting the cultures, languages or heritage of any group


Current Section 116. The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.


Read more about the proposed changes at this Link -


Read about the concerns of Anne Twomey of the University of Sydney Law School, with Section 116A at the Link below.


Section  51(xxvi) .... or Section 51 subsection 26

Vote 'NO' To Constitutional Change's photo.
Pre ’67 Referendum the Government had no Jurisdiction

– ’67 Referendum till now the Government uses the Race Power to make Laws for Aboriginal People through a ‘Consent’ process.
For example ‘The Native Title Act 1993′ was ‘Consented’ to by the ‘Magnificent 7.’

– Post Recognition ( current proposal) means that the Australian Government have the power to make any Law for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as a targeted race without limitation or restriction to what kinds of Laws they could be.  [ based on proposal to date ]


For more viewpoints & information,  click   HERE


On Saturday 4 July 2015 the ABC reported that:

The Prime Minister endorsed the idea of holding the REFERENDUM vote on the 50th anniversary of the successful May 1967 referendum that granted increased rights to Indigenous Australians -  i.e. in 2017.

The vote could also be held at the next election likely in 2016. But there are concerns that could politicise the referendum if it became tangled in a partisan election campaign.

Other options?

There is also a parallel debate in the Indigenous community about securing a treaty or treaties.

A treaty would be a separate document between the Commonwealth and Indigenous people.

It could include compensation, land rights or recognition but that would be encapsulated in an agreement that is separate to the constitution.

Some groups argue Indigenous sovereignty would be ceded if the constitutional changes go ahead because it would be a concession that Aboriginal people operated under laws that were devised after white settlement.

But some constitutional experts argue the opposite, that a treaty would be enhanced by constitutional support.

Read about all the Options at the Link below.


On 6 July 2015, Aboriginal people met at a Summit at Kirribilli House in Sydney, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, to discuss the wording of the Referendum and a possible timeline. 

Read about the Summit   HERE




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