University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker and Michelle Grattan discuss the week in politics.
Indigenous leader Pat Dodson is expected to co-chair a Referendum Council together with lawyer Mark Leibler.
How many issues can be put to the Australian people for votes in a single year? This is a key question for the referendum to recognise First Australians in the constitution.
Marking the 30th anniversary of the handover of Uluru to its traditional owners, Bill Shorten reiterated the importance of constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has said that Indigenous recognition in the Constitution cannot just be "empty poetry" but must lay to rest "the ghosts of the discrimination" haunting the document.
An appropriate process for achieving consensus among Indigenous communities is critical to the success of constitutional recognition.
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.
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.
Australia’s proposals to recognise Indigenous people in its Constitution will likely be much less substantive than those of many other countries.
Constitutional recognition may have very limited impact if the groups benefiting from the change lack the political weight to leverage it into greater social change.
The Constitution has been very successful in setting out how Australian federalism will work.
Museum of Australian Democracy
The problem with constitutional recognition lies in the way in which it changes the nature of the constitution away from a procedural document by introducing issues of identity into it.
Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten pose for a photograph with Indigenous leaders before a meeting to consider the process for a referendum on Indigenous recognition.
Tony Abbott, Bill Shorten and Indigenous leaders dealt primarily with process rather than substance in their Monday meeting on constitutional recognition of the first Australians. This made it a whole…
Libertarians, such as David Leyonhjelm, refuse to see anything but individual liberty as having decisive moral weight.
David Leyonhjelm is a conviction politician whose positions are governed by principle, not populism. But he is exposing the disturbing moral thinness of the libertarian principles he espouses.
Senator David Leyonhjelm has said he is not taking sides in the debate, saying only that anthropologists disagree.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm has said that Aboriginal people may not be the first occupants of Australia. What does the research say?
If a way ahead on constitutional recognition is to be forged, it must be through political leadership and genuine public consultation.
The parliamentary committee's report highlights the deep division between those who want to advance Indigenous recognition through minimal constitutional change and those who seek more substantive reform.
Even with bipartisan support, a referendum on Indigenous constitutional recognition is no certainty to succeed.
A defeat for Indigenous constitutional recognition would be disastrous and demoralising. But history tells us that even worthy proposals with bipartisan support are not assured of success.
Among the early footsteps in Australia – The Mungo fossil footprints dating to 20,000 years ago.
An Australian senator says the evidence on who should be recognised as the First Australians is only "conjecture". So what does the evidence really say?
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has rejected all three options for questions put up by the parliamentary committee on indigenous recognition.
Tony Abbott wants Australia’s Indigenous people recognised in the constitution on May 27, 2017, the 50th anniversary of the…
A people’s convention could be the circuit-breaker that constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians needs.
Important steps have been made in 2014 in the campaign to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia’s Constitution. Prime Minister Tony Abbott affirmed his commitment to hold…
Ken Wyatt watches as House of Representatives Speaker Bronwyn Bishop accepts a boomerang from Cairns local Norman Miller.
The parliamentary committee on constitutional recognition of Australia’s first people has put forward three possible propositions…
Bundilla elder Aunty Barbara Raymond with schoolchildren in Darwin last year, supporting the cause of Indigenous constitutional recognition.
AAP Image/Supplied by Richard Oppusunggu
Constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australia has been on the national agenda for a long time, but is back in the headlines with the news that the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader hope to release…
One of Tony Abbott’s best and boldest election promises was for a referendum to recognise Indigenous people in the Australian Constitution. That’s a promise he won’t want to break. Yet, as time goes on…
Fred Chaney and Adam Goodes have teamed up to push for constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians, but it’s proving to be a long road.
Australia has taken another step towards constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait…
The Apology of 2008 demonstrated how symbolic actions have powerful practical consequences for reconciliation.
Later this year, we expect to see draft recommendations from a parliamentary committee on recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian constitution and ensuring there is…