This week marks National Reconciliation Week – framed by two significant dates, May 27, the anniversary of the 1967 referendum which saw aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people recognized in the census for the first time, and June 3, the date the Australian High Court delivered the native title Mabo decision in 1992. The week signifies the importance Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have had on our past and the influence they will have on the direction Australia takes in the future. Australia’s constitution defines us as a nation, but a lot has changed since it was first drafted in the late 1890s. While aboriginal people were recognized in the document until the late 1960s as not being worthy of being counted in the federal census, but eligible to fight for our country in times of war, there remains currently no formal recognition of the country’s indigenous people in our founding document. To talk to us about the proposal for constitutional reform and to have aboriginal people recognized in the document, Jess Wingard spoke to the CEO of Reconciliation Australia, Leah Armstrong.
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