Queensland – a step towards recogising place of First Peoples

Australian Human Rights Commission media release:

Recognition in Queensland’s Constitution another milestone for reconciliation

Passage of legislation in the Queensland Parliament yesterday recognising Indigenous people as the first Queenslanders in the preamble to the State’s Constitution, was one more milestone in the country’s reconciliation journey, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda said today.

Commissioner Gooda said Queensland could now stand tall alongside Victoria as the only States that have positively recognised the unique position of Indigenous Australians in their Constitutions.

“The Queensland Government, like the Victorian one before it, has shown great courage and commitment to true reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by amending its Constitutional preamble to recognise Indigenous peoples as the first Queenslanders,” he said.

“The amendment is of great symbolic importance and will contribute to redressing the historical exclusion of Indigenous peoples from Australia’s foundational documents and national identity.”

Commissioner Gooda said the time was right to build on the bipartisanship that currently exists towards a preamble, to work towards securing a new preamble for the Australian Constitution that recognised Indigenous peoples.

He said guidance on matters that could be considered in a new Australian Constitutional preamble could be found in existing federal legislation such as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005 (Cth) and the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).