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An appropriate process for achieving consensus among Indigenous communities is critical to the success of constitutional recognition. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Constitutional recognition: two steps forward after one step back

Tony Abbott’s belated agreement with Indigenous leaders on a consultation process for constitutional recognition is a step in the right direction.
Tony Abbott rejected a push from Indigenous leaders, including Noel Pearson, for Indigenous-only community conventions on constitutional recognition. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Confidence must be rebuilt after PM shoots down Indigenous leaders’ plan

Tony Abbott's rejection of Indigenous-only conventions need not derail the push for constitutional recognition. But it demonstrates just how crucial sound process is to achieving change.
Giving constitutional status to an Indigenous advisory body would give Indigenous Australians a say about laws that directly affect them. AAp/Tracey Nearmy

Putting words to the tune of Indigenous constitutional recognition

Proposals for constitutional recognition of Indigenous people are gaining momentum but also raising legal concerns. Here is a form of words to create an advisory council that overcomes those concerns.
There’s no use pretending the teacher doesn’t have more knowledge than everyone else in the room; this is the way it should be. from

Ignore the fads: teachers should teach and students should listen

Explicit instruction - where the teacher stands at the front of the class and teaches - is out of vogue with educators who prefer collaborative learning. But it's really the only teaching style with proven results.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott caused controversy earlier this week when he said that living in remote Indigenous communities was a ‘lifestyle choice’. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

For the real story on Indigenous Australia, social beats old media

The furore over Tony Abbott’s 'lifestyle choices' comments both sidelines and highlights the lack of real discussion on Indigenous policy in Australia.
Facing a revolt about a lack of community consultation, Adam Giles (left) saw off the leadership challenge of Willem Westra van Holthe (right) after another Indigenous MP threatened to quit the government. AAP/Neda Vanovac

New MPs beware: neoliberalism is an Indigenous health hazard

As the dust settles after the Queensland election, the realisation that two Indigenous candidates, Leeanne Enoch and Billy Gordon, made history is taking hold amid the Labor Party celebrations. No other…
The public response to the eulogies to Gough Whitlam testifies to the power of oratory that draws on and gives fresh life to memory. AAP/Alan Porritt

Memoria in Memoriam: Whitlam’s farewell invokes power of oratory

In a playful rhetorical flourish at the Sydney Town Hall on Wednesday, Indigenous leader Noel Pearson monumentalised Gough Whitlam’s prime ministerial legacy, Monty Python-style: What did the Romans ever…
Noel Pearson’s speech has been hailed as one of the great Australian political speeches. What were its stylistic characteristics? AAP Image/Fairfax Pool, Peter Rae

A closer look at Noel Pearson’s eulogy for Gough Whitlam

Gough Whitlam was a prime minister unsuccessful in three of his five federal election campaigns, including 1975’s extremely divisive contest. Somehow, though, his death has sparked an outpouring of kind…
Noel Pearson has long had the ear of government, including then minister Tony Abbott back in 2002. AAP/Alan Porritt

Pearson’s grip on Indigenous policy is not backed by evidence

Noel Pearson is seen by many as Australia’s most influential Indigenous leader. As well as being chairman of the Cape York Group, he is an outspoken commentator who shapes policy as part of the Abbott…
A sign outside an Aboriginal community near Darwin, noting the ban on consuming alcohol in the area. AAP/Xavier La Canna

New singers, old songs: alcohol bans in Aboriginal communities

The newly elected conservative governments in Queensland and the Northern Territory have opened the way to relaxing laws restricting access to alcohol in Aboriginal communities. In Queensland, a number…

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