A statement about the First Peoples of Australia could acknowledge that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples lived on the continent and its islands before the British arrived.
It could also say that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples still have a relationship with their lands and waters. It could talk about the continuing cultures, languages and heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Some people have suggested making a broader statement that acknowledges:
- Australia’s ancient Indigenous heritage
- the rules and form of government that we inherited from the British
- Australia’s multicultural achievements.
Some people say that making a statement would be a big step on the way to reconciliation. People have suggested different ways of making a statement. One option would be to put the statement in the Constitution. Another option would be for the Australian Parliament and all the state and territory parliaments to make a declaration in new laws.
Question 1: Should we have a statement that acknowledges the First Peoples of Australia?
Question 2: Should a statement of recognition be inside the Constitution or outside it?
Question 3: If the statement goes in the Constitution, where is the best place to put it?
Question 4: What should the statement say?