NSW becomes first State to back constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians

Published 2nd December, 2014

NSW Premier Mike Baird today announced the NSW Government’s in-principle support for a federal referendum to recognise Indigenous Australians in the nation’s Constitution.

Mr Baird made the announcement with Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Victor Dominello and Recognise Joint Campaign Directors Tanya Hosch and Tim Gartrell at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence in Redfern.

Mr Baird said NSW had become the first state or territory to support the national campaign for Constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.

“This State is home to more than 175,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – about a third of the national Indigenous population – so we have a responsibility to lead the national debate,” Mr Baird said.

“I’m proud the NSW Government has become the first state to back this campaign, which provides a unique opportunity to include a rightful acknowledgement of this nation’s first people in our founding document, the Australian Constitution.

“I look forward to working with my federal counterparts to ensure we get the referendum proposal right so the people of NSW can vote ‘Yes’ when this historic moment arrives.”

Mr Dominello said Australia's enduring Indigenous cultures were a vital part of the nation’s identity and the missing element in the Australian Constitution.

“The Constitution is our nation's first document and therefore it should appropriately recognise our nation's first peoples,” Mr Dominello said.

“The Indigenous cultures of this land are quintessentially Australian and as we mature as a nation it’s essential we recognise our first peoples in our national constitution.”

Ms Hosch welcomed NSW’s declaration of in-principle support for the campaign and urged other states and territories to follow the NSW Government’s lead.

“A referendum at the federal level will have more chance of success with the backing of all states and territories, and I commend the NSW Government for being the first to formally back this historic cause,” Ms Hosch said.

To find out more about the Recognise campaign visit: recognise.org.au

Published 2nd December, 2014