THE LONG WALK TO EQUALITY
Last week the Turnbull Government rejected the concept of a referendum being held on a change to the Australian Constitution which would create what can broadly be described as a Council to officially represent Indigenous Australians.
The Prime Minister said that such a referendum was certain to be voted down comprehensively as there was little community support for it.
In political terms he is probably right, but it will be wrong just to leave it at that.
There must be a full constitutional recognition of the indisputable fact that Indigenous Australians have cared for this continent for at least 65000 years and have the right to a significant role in its future.
The possibilities of how this vital matter is recognised are limited only by our imagination.
One positive thought would be to create a number of seats in both Houses of our Federal Parliament that can be occupied only by indigenous people representing clearly defined electorates where indigenous voters can register rather than voting in existing parliamentary seats.
Often, this could give them the balance of power in one or both Houses.
An additional possibility is to establish an indigenous University of world standing which becomes a powerhouse of the history, culture and enterprise of Aboriginal Australia.
The unavoidable challenge is that we must stop running away from this issue.
It’s time to bring peace and prosperity out of the ashes of a badly handled national disaster that has been with us since 1788.
There can be no more excuses from people on both sides of this debate who operate from a basis of closed minds.