What is your full name?
Joannes G. van Grieken
What is your postal code?
Do you support recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by changing the Constitution or making some other kind of legal change?
What should the change look like?
Symbolic: in the Australian Constitution by deleting the "race" reference in Section 51, while inserting a strong statement of acknowledgement about the heritage and rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Practical: legislation to enact
Should we have a statement that acknowledges the First Peoples of Australia?
Yes. This should be in the Constitution.
Where is the best place to put it?
As a preamble to the Constitution.
What should the statement say?
It should acknowledge their original occupation of Australia and its islands; their cultural, spiritual, historic and ongoing connection to the Australian land and waters.
Do you have any other comments on a statement about the First Peoples of Australia?
Even though they are Australia's First Peoples, they now also make up a significant part of our multi-cultural society who have equal rights with all Australians.
Should the word 'race' be taken out of the Constitution?
Should the Australian Parliament keep the power to make special laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples?
Do you have any ideas on what new words could be used to describe that power, or where in the Constitution to put the power?
The words should be generic enough to be a guide to each State and Territory in their process of making laws that affect ATSI people.
Do you have any other comments on powers to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples?
In every case ATSI people must be substantially represented and at least equal participants in the process of law making, not just consulted.
Do you think that a guarantee against racial discrimination should go into the Constitution?
Do you have any ideas about what words to use for that guarantee, or where in the Constitution to put it?
No, but I would refer to the Racial Discrimination Act Cth.
Should the guarantee protect all Australians against racial discrimination, or only Indigenous Australians?
If there is not enough support for a guarantee in the Constitution, what other things can we do to stop racial discrimination in national laws?
Review the relevant Commonwealth Acts and make them all inclusive for all Australians.
Do you think Indigenous people should have a say when Parliament and government make laws and policies about Indigenous affairs?
Should a new Indigenous group be set up under the Constitution to give advice and make sure Indigenous people have a voice in political decisions that affect them?
Is it worth creating the new group if it can only give advice and does not have the power to block new laws?
Do you have any ideas about what the new group would look like?
A Statutory Body that has the power to pull together representatives from relevant ATSI groups to formulate advise to Government(s) and any elected members of Parliament.
Do you have any other comments on this Indigenous group?
This group must not interfere with the democratic process of representative government.
Should we delete section 25?
What would we achieve by getting rid of section 25?
That race will not be a consideration for the right to vote and participate in our democracy.
Is there any point in keeping it?
Do you have any other comments?
Whatever is decided regarding our Constitution, it must be with agreement from a majority of ATSI people.
Are you making a submission on behalf of a person (such as yourself) or organisation?