Calls for recognition have been made over many decades.
The formal process examining how to achieve recognition has been underway since 2011. There have been two expert committees that have reported on the next steps towards a meaningful and successful referendum for constitutional recognition of Australia’s First Peoples.
- Final Report of the Expert Panel on Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution
- Final Report of the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
The current phase of work is the detailed development of a referendum model. This work is being undertaken by the Referendum Council, which was established by the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten in December 2015. The Referendum Council is distinct from the RECOGNISE movement.
The Referendum Council will advise the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader on the progress and next steps towards a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution.
The Council is chaired by Ms. Pat Anderson AO and Mr. Mark Leibler AC and includes the members; Professor Megan Davis; Mr. Andrew Demetriou; Mr. Murray Gleeson AC QC; Ms. Tanya Hosch; The Hon. Professor Kristina Keneally; Ms. Jane McAloon; Mr. Michael Rose AO; Ms. Natasha Stott Despoja AM; Mr. Noel Pearson; Ms. Amanda Vanstone; Ms. Dalassa Yorkston and Dr. Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM.