Discussion paper response

Maggie Walter
What is your full name?
Maggie Walter
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?
Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples needs to be inserted into the Constitution. The Constitution is the Nation's founding document. The absence of recognition could be equated to Constitutional terra nullius.
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?
In the body of the constitution
What should the statement say?
The statement must be more than symbolic.
Do you have any other comments on a statement about the First Peoples of Australia?
Recognising Australia's First Peoples in the Australian Constitution is necessary to redress the missing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander place in our nation's founding documents. This remediation has already long been achieved in other former Briti
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?
See below
Do you have any other comments on powers to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples?
It is a difficult question to answer whether Section 51: (xxvi) The people of any race for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws, is left unchanged, amended or removed. This Section is one of the two changed by the 1967 referendum and those c
Do you think that a guarantee against racial discrimination should go into the Constitution?
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 need to ensure that racial discrimination laws cannot be suspended. Can think of no situation where suspending the racial discrimination act that would not result in negative outcomes for a group of people based on their race
Do you have any other comments on changing the Constitution to stop racial discrimination?
Ideally, all national Constitutions would contain sections that prohibit racial discrimination. The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) already exists and prohibits discrimination on the basis of race and provides the some avenues for redress, should a p
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 other comments on this Indigenous group?
The precedent for a formal Indigenous voice in national and state parliaments is established in New Zealand where Maori are guaranteed a proportion of parliamentary seats based on the size of the Maori electoral population. There are currently seven seats
Should we delete section 25?
What would we achieve by getting rid of section 25?
Section 25 is both racially discriminatory and outdated. There is no place in our nation's Constitution for any section that could potentially ban any citizens from being able to vote in elections because of their race. Removing it removes the possibility
Is there any point in keeping it?
Do you have any other comments?
I am making this submission as an individual but I also make this submission as Pro Vice Chancellor Aboriginal Research and Leadership at the University of Tasmania. Senior Management at the University of Tasmania have reviewed the submission.
Are you making a submission on behalf of a person (such as yourself) or organisation?