Constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians

The Australian Government believes the time is right to consider amending the Australian Constitution to acknowledge the special place of our first peoples.

Constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is an important step towards building a nation based on strong relations and mutual respect – a nation that is united in recognising and acknowledging the unique and special place of our first peoples.

The National Apology to Indigenous Australians, in particular the Stolen Generations, helped build a bridge of respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. It helped generate the trust needed for closing the gap. The recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution is another step in that journey.

The Government is committed to holding a national referendum on constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples during the current term of government or at the next Federal Election.

We recognise that without the support of the majority of Australians, constitutional recognition of Indigenous people will not succeed.

The Government has established an expert panel to consult with Australians and provide the Government with options about how to progress Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians.

Content Updated: 21 May 2012