On Thursday the 21st of March 2013, South Australia’s Constitution was amended to recognise Aboriginal peoples as the traditional owners and occupiers of South Australian land and waters. This long-overdue amendment acknowledges past injustices and recognises the continuing importance of Aboriginal heritage and culture. South Australia’s historic change comes as Australia gears up to amend the Australian Constitution.

Commonwealth Constitutional update

On July 10, the Minister for Indigneous Affairs, the Honourable Ken Wyatt announced at a press conference that the Morrison Government would take Constitutional reform to a referendum within three years..

“I will develop and forward a consensus option for constitutional recognition to put to a referendum during the current parliamentary term. That means working through until we reach a point in which there is consensus across all the relevant groups who have a stake in it.

I do not want to proceed if we are not going to be successful. I have commenced the process of engaging and seeking the counsel of Indigenous leaders on the best way forward.…….The Morrison Government is committed to recognising Indigenous Australians in the constitution and working to achieve this through a process of true co-design. Constitutional recognition is too important.

And I don’t want to rush it, because when I consider the successful 1967 referendum, it was as a result of tireless advocacy and an extraordinary nationwide momentum for change. If we want to see that kind of national consensus again, we need to be thorough and we need to take time to get it right. We have allocated $7.3 million for a co-design process to improve local and regional decision making, and an additional $160 million has been set aside for a future referendum once the model has been determined.”