THE push for indigenous recognition in the Australian constitution reached Taree on Monday, November 30, with a large crowd gathering at Ngarralinyi radio station to begin a day of activities aimed at encouraging support for the movement.
Organised in conjunction between the Recognise movement and local indigenous rights groups, more than 150 people gathered at the radio station before taking place in a community walk of support to Fotheringham Park.
Supporters were able to enjoy a barbecue and music at the park, as well as ample discussion about the recognition movement, hosted by senior Recognise member, Mark Yettica Paulson.
Dr David Norling, who is a member of the Manning Valley As One group, said that constitutional recognition was important not just for indigenous Australians but all Australians.
“Recognise provides a starting point for conversation which helps people understand the importance of constitutional change,” Dr Norling said.
The recognition movement revolves around the removal of section 25 and section 51 (xxvi) of the current constitution, which involve state powers that can be used to ban people voting based on race, and giving the state powers to introduce new race discrimination laws.
It also advocates the creation of several new sections: 51A - to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and to preserve the Australian government’s ability to pass laws for the benefit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; section 116A, banning racial discrimination by government; and section 127A, recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages were this country’s first tongues, while confirming that English is Australia’s national language.
The Journey to Recognition will now move on to Newcastle where several events are planned.
Click here for more images from the day.