Who are the 3%?
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the first inhabitants of the land now called Australia. We constitute 3% of the current population of the country.
This site has been set up to allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people share their thoughts on the proposed changes to the constitution with each other and to draw attention to the one sided nature of the so-called debate around constitutional recognition.
What changes does the government want to make to the Federal constitution?
The government wants to hold a referendum in which it will propose amendments to five elements of the constitution. According to the Recognise campaign, which supports such changes, this will ‘…bring the country together after so many chapters apart.’ However, many Aboriginal people argue that these changes are tokenism and will only be used to ameliorate white guilt.
According to Boe Spearim (Gamliaraay) constitutional change doesn’t ‘…facilitate real power sharing.’ In fact, it takes away the sovereignty of a people who did not consent to have their lands taken away from them in the first place.
You can read more about the proposed changes in the Resources section of this website.
When are these changes due to take place?
There is no set date for the forthcoming referendum in Australia to enact changes to our Constitution.
In December 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott nominated May 27, 2017 as a referendum date – the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum, which gave the Commonwealth the power to legislate law for Aboriginal people to be counted in population statistics. However this date, nor any date is yet to be confirmed. Discussions are continuing with many groups and a special committee including individuals outside Parliament. Keep checking this website for updates!
What can you do? How can you get involved?
Please add your voice to the ‘debate’ by uploading an audio or video file on our page. We will share these videos and spread the voices of the 3%.