The government’s proposal for a referendum will only happen if it can get consensus on the content of what would go into the constitution, and there’s a high probability of a favourable outcome.
It would be another miracle if the Morrison government managed to have a referendum passed to give Australia's Indigenous people constitutional recognition.
In his first major policy address, Ken Wyatt noted how previous governments have failed Indigenous Australians with a ‘top-down, command and control approach.’
Ken Wyatt's promise of a referendum on constitutional recognition within three years marks a dramatic shift from the Turnbull government's rejection of the Uluru Statement of the Heart.
Ken Wyatt proposed plans for constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians during this parliamentary term.
Ken Wyatt on constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians
The Conversation, CC BY 27 MB (download)
Ken Wyatt says he is "optimistic about achieving [constitutional recognition] because...Australians will generally accept an opportunity to include Aboriginal people" and that he will work with "naysayers".
The appointment of Ken Wyatt as the first Indigenous minister for Indigenous Australians is a significant moment in the nation’s history.
While the new minister has the chance to make a real difference, unrealistic expectations of him should be tempered- real change will take not just the whole government, but the nation.
MP Pat Dodson could be the next minister for Indigenous Affairs if Labor wins the federal election, a first for a First Nations person.
Few First Nations candidates have succeeded in getting elected to parliament, but it is clear that when they do, they can make a substantial difference.
The future lies not in better policy, or even a new government, but in the exciting resurgence of Indigenous nationhood.
For First Nations peoples to recover from the multiple harms of settler colonialism, they must take control of the services they need, free from the control and interference of the settler state.
Abbott’s previous policies on Indigenous issues were characterised by funding cuts, exclusions and silencing – all of which makes his role as envoy highly questionable to Indigenous communities.
The proposals Abbott has pushed as envoy - more police in Indigenous communities and learning in English - demonstrates his ignorance and unsuitability for the job.
A sculpture of William Ricketts looms over those of Arrernte and Pitjantjatjara men at the sanctuary in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges.
A mossy sanctuary in Victoria's Dandenong Ranges houses 92 sculptures, mostly of Arrernte and Pitjantjatjara men, women and children. They are steeped in primitivism, yet the park is a popular tourist attraction.
The Closing the Gap targets miss out on other aspects of economic well-being.
Australia is on track to meet its 'Closing the Gap' employment target, but more than a decade late.
The targets relating to Year 12 attainment, preschool enrolment, and childhood mortality are on track to be closed, according to the 2018 Closing the Gap report.
Care needs to be taken in interpreting progress on closing the gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and ascribing it to actual policy change.
The government will hail this year’s outcome as the most promising result since 2011.
The tenth Closing the Gap report shows only three of the seven targets are on track to be met.
The Founding of Australia. By Capt. Arthur Phillip R.N. Sydney Cove, Jan. 26th 1788 (Algernon Talmadge R.A, 1937)
State Library of New South Wales
As it becomes ever more entangled in battles over the meaning of our history, Australia Day will find it difficult to foster common belonging and social cohesion.
The proposal for an Indigenous representative body came late into the constitutional recognition debate.
The government has rejected the Referendum Council's call for a national Indigenous representative assembly to be put into the Constitution.
‘We refuse to appeal to the benevolence of White folk for our lives to matter. We remind them every day that we are still here.’
Despite the promise of Black Lives Matter, it has not been taken up as a central political movement by Indigenous Australians.
Part of Mandy Martin’s painting Cool Burn (2016): in her painting workshops at Djinkarr, Indigenous rangers brought the threats to their land to life on canvas.
Feral cats and pigs, mission grass and climate change - in western Arnhem Land, Indigenous rangers are battling many environmental threats. Through painting and performance, they are also telling 'healthy country' stories.
Eddie Koiki Mabo (left) and Jack Wailu on the Torres Strait island of Mer.
National Archives of Australia/AAP
The Mabo decision changed Australia's concept of land ownership. It was a divisive yet important step toward recognising Indigenous rights and establishing native title.
Indigenous Labor MP Linda Burney says her party is trying to identify and remove structural obstacles to preselection.
Guaranteed representation reduces the distance between policymakers and the people for whom policy is made.
Certain traditional owners and conservation groups allied to stand against a planned gas hub in Western Australia’s Kimberley region.
AAP Image/Tim Gentles
Relations between Indigenous peoples and environmentalists can be productive for both parties, but they will always be unstable.
Tony Abbott’s additional target focusing on school attendance rates has not improved at all since 2014.
The report focus on the government’s own policies fails to acknowledge genuine differences of opinion on key issues such as constitutional recognition and income management.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the eve of the release of the Close the Gap report.
Kevin Rudd called for more to be done to halt the increasing number of Indigenous children being removed from their families.