At a full Board meeting in Sydney today , the Australian Council of Social Service praised the passing of important legislation through Federal Parliament this week, which takes us a step closer towards recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Australia’s Constitution.
The ACOSS board congratulated the leadership of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and all sides of politics for coming together and acknowledging what the Prime Minister described as, ”The unhealed wound that even now lies open at the heart of our national story.”
“As Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said, Australia would be an incomplete nation and a torn people until the nation’s guiding document is changed.
“It was pleasing to see the passage through the House of Representatives of the Act of Recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the presence of such prominent Indigenous leaders, including Mr Patrick Dodson, Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue and others, who have fought so hard for so long for this moment,” said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.
“We hope the major political parties continue to work in this same cooperative spirit so we can progress the work that remains to be done to achieve full equality and opportunity for Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
“We know there is still so much to be done, and only together, working with representative Aboriginal organisations and communities can we improve the lives and opportunities of our Indigenous Peoples.
“We would also like to congratulate the hard work of the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples whose work largely framed this important Bill.
“We should not lose sight of the importance of ultimately recognising our first peoples in the country’s founding document. This is a fundamental necessity on the road to healing our national wound,” Dr Goldie concluded.
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