Discussion paper response

Anne Ruth Brelsford
What is your full name?
Anne Ruth Brelsford
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?
I don't know
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?
Preamble and aslo elswhere
What should the statement say?
Not sure of words but acknowledging their presence here when white people arrived, and their history here of over 40,000 years.
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?
I do think such a power could be helpful to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, but I think it should only be enacted in such a way that if new laws are proposed there is widespread and detailed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consultation firs
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, cannot envisage the words, a very complex task.
Should the guarantee protect all Australians against racial discrimination, or only Indigenous Australians?
All 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?
We already have some laws, but they are constantly being tampered with. Strenthen exisiting laws, particulalry as affecting Aboriginals and T. St. Islanders
Do you have any other comments on changing the Constitution to stop racial discrimination?
Our Constitution needs to includes some statements on "normal" human rights, as an extra protection for people. I understand it does not have this at present.
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?
No, I don't know much about Aboriginal groups (to my shame). But it should be a very widely representative group, chosen by Aboriginals and T. ST. Islanders.
Should we delete section 25?
What would we achieve by getting rid of section 25?
Clarity that all races have equal voting rights.
Is there any point in keeping it?
None that I can see.
Do you have any other comments?
Racism is a pernicious aspect of life in Australia. Recognizing Indigenous people in our Constitution is way overdue, and would help to create a clear context in which racism is seen for what it is.
Are you making a submission on behalf of a person (such as yourself) or organisation?