#1009 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 14 Dec 2014.
The Australian Constitution is the “grand bargain” between the Australian colonies, the foundational legal document of our nation, yet it reinforces racism.
Section 25 tacitly permits the exclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from the right to vote, and Section 51 excludes the Commonwealth Government from having the power to make laws for Indigenous people. The time has come to right these historical wrongs.
As Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Shayne Neumann, observes:
While most of us recall the ground-breaking moment when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivered the national apology to the stolen generation in 2008 … Since the 1990s, churches in Australia have made official statements of apology, sorrow and regret for their role in the injustices suffered by the stolen generation. Churches and Christian leaders have been at the forefront of the reconciliation movement … and the recognition movement which now seeks constitutional change to acknowledge the First Peoples of Australia.
It’s time for change by referendum.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.