What will it take to bring about change?

Free public forum on the Recognition of Indigenous Australians in the Constitution

Free public forum on the Recognition of Indigenous Australians in the Constitution.

The challenge of achieving success in a referendum to recognise Indigenous Australians in the Constitution is the focus of a free public forum at the University of New South Wales next week (Thursday 17 March).

The Australian Constitution is the foundation document of our system of government, but currently it fails to recognise Indigenous Australians. In December last year, the Federal Government established an expert panel to determine the best way to rectify this omission. Whichever referendum question is eventually put to the Australian people, what is clear is that both sides of politics must agree on any proposed constitutional change if it is to succeed.

A panel of experts will discuss the possible reform models and their respective chances of success.

Panel members include:

• Associate Professor Megan Davis, Director, Indigenous Law Centre, UNSW and member of the Federal Government's Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians
• Mick Gooda, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission
• Professor George Williams, Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, UNSW Faculty of Law
and co-author of People Power, the history and future of the referendum in Australia
• Les Malezer, Chairperson of the Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action (FAIRA) and 2008 AHRC Human Rights Medal recipient
• Paul Kildea, Co-Director of the Referendums Project at the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, UNSW Faculty of Law.

The forum is an initiative of UNSW's Indigenous Law Centre.

What: Open Forum: The Recognition of Indigenous People in the Constitution
When: 6:30 - 8:00pm, Thursday, 17 March 2011
Where: G04 Lecture Theatre, Law Faculty, UNSW

RSVP Janette Murdoch by 16 March 2011, www.ilc.unsw.edu.au

Media contact: Steve Offner, UNSW Media Office, 02 9385 8107, 0424 580 208