cover image: Final Report of the Referendum Council

20.500.12592/1f64t7

Final Report of the Referendum Council

30 Jun 2017

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have long struggled for constitutional recognition in Australia. In 2010 Prime Minister the Hon Julia Gillard established the Expert Panel on the Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution, co-chaired by Patrick Dodson and Mark Leibler, which reported in 2012. Prime Minister the Hon Tony Abbott established a Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, co-chaired by Senator Ken Wyatt and Senator Nova Peris, which reported in June 2015. Prime Minister the Hon Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader the Hon Bill Shorten then established this Referendum Council in December 2015. This report builds on the work of the Expert Panel and the Joint Select Committee. It takes into account the political and legal responses to the earlier reports, as well as the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the general public. The findings of our broader community consultation supported the findings of the First Nations Regional Dialogues. This strengthens our conviction that the Voice to the Parliament proposal and an extra-constitutional Declaration of Recognition will be acceptable to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to the broader Australian community. We propose these reforms because they conform to the weight of views of First Peoples expressed in the First Nations Regional Dialogues as well as those of the wider community. With focussed political leadership and continued multiparty support for meaningful recognition, the Voice to the Parliament proposal can succeed at a referendum. The consensus view of the Referendum Council is that these recommendations for constitutional and extra-constitutional recognition are modest, reasonable, unifying and capable of attracting the necessary support of the Australian people.
australia voice referendum

Authors

Referendum Council

Published in
Australia

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