The Australian Government has established an expert panel to lead broad consultations about constitutional change throughout 2011, culminating in a report and recommendations to Government in December 2011.
The Panel is made up of respected individuals and includes Indigenous and community leaders, constitutional experts and parliamentary members.
The Panel will consider how best to progress the constitutional recognition of Indigenous peoples, and provide possible options on the nature of the change which could be put to the Australian people at a referendum.
It will facilitate the broad engagement and involvement of all Australians in this process.
The Government expects the Panel to work closely with organisations which have expertise and a history of engagement on this issue, including Reconciliation Australia.
The Australian Human Rights Commission and the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples are represented on the Expert Panel as ex-officio members.
In 2012, the Government will consider the Panel's recommendations. Following this, draft legislation proposing amendments to the Constitution will be prepared and released for public comment.
Legislation would then be put to the Australian Parliament in advance of a referendum.