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“Until that (constitutional recognition) is addressed, then we truly can't go forward as a people, as a nation, as Australians, as a whole. ”

ARCHIE ROACH, Singer and Songwriter

“I hope that future generations of Australians will grow up learning about the rich and impressive first cultures of our country – and constitutional recognition is part of achieving that.”

ADAM GOODES, Australian of the Year 2014

“We want to be recognised. It’s just as simple as that. We’ve never been recognised. We are the first Australians, okay? And it is time we were recognised.”

LOWITJA O'DONOGHUE, legendary campaigner

“Recognition of the first peoples in the Constitution sends a message that you are valued, you are important, that we want to respect you, and we want to deal with the things that have caused us division and discord in the past. ”

PATRICK DODSON, Indigenous Leader

“I'm a big supporter of this. It should be a unifying moment for Australia. It should be a healing moment for Australia. And that's what I want to bring about. ”

TONY ABBOTT, Prime Minister

“The moment has come for the silence about the unique and valuable contribution of Indigenous Australians to be rectified, and for discrimination to be removed from the Constitution. It has no place in our future.”

TANYA HOSCH, Deputy Campaign Director for Recognise

“My mum passed on a few years ago, and she asked me to continue her story, and I’m doing that, and this is part of that. If we can get Constitutional Recognition it means one hell of a step in the right direction.”

UNCLE BRYON POWELL, Wadawurrung Elder

“Constitutional recognition goes beyond symbolic significance and will have practical consequences for equality. It's a way of acknowledging and respecting Indigenous Australians' distinct cultures, identities and custodianship of the land.”

GABI HOLLOWS, founding director, Fred Hollows Foundation

“The Apology was about getting it right for the past. Constitutional recognition is about getting it right for tomorrow.”

KEVIN RUDD, Former Prime Minister

“We have the chance to demonstrate to the world, but more importantly, to our children and to all those who follow, that we will make our nation better and stronger and fairer by fixing this silence in our Constitution.”

KENNY BEDFORD, Torres Strait Regional Authority Member

“This has been a long time coming. If it happened tomorrow, it wouldn't be too soon. It should have happened quite some time ago. ”

JACK THOMPSON, Screen legend

“I was a young girl when I first saw a big moment in history – the 1967 referendum. But none of us finished the task back then. Our Constitution has an exclusion of our people. We’ve got to make that right now. We have to write it in.”

JACKIE HUGGINS, spokesperson for Recognise

“A lot of Aboriginal people have missed out because they were excluded - they weren’t included - in some parts of our history. How can you feel like a citizen if you are not written up in the Constitution as being here? ”

SHIRLEY PEISLEY, 1967 Referendum campaigner

“I want people to be more heartful about the simpleness of this. Let’s not make it too difficult. Recognition means a lot. It’s true. It’s necessary. It’s about acknowledgement and respect.”

AARON PEDERSEN, actor

“Recognition to me is about continuing the work my Great Great Great Grandfather William Cooper began many years ago. It’s about putting right what’s been wrong for too long. It’s essential.”

SHARON SOWTER, Yorta Yorta woman and Melton school teacher

“This is much more than a question of symbolism, this is a question of national wellbeing and national identity. It's about coming to terms with who we are as a nation and deciding who we want to be in the future. ”

NOEL PEARSON, Cape York Institute

“Constitutional reform will make us a better nation - more at peace with our past, and more confident and united as we face the future together. ”

JULIA GILLARD, Former Prime Minister

“Constitutional Recognition would allow the first chapter in the Australian story to be acknowledged. Our history is part of the shared story of every Australian and our Indigenous heritage is something that enhances and enriches every one of us.”

ADEN RIDGEWAY, spokesperson for Recognise

“What a great thing for Australia it would be if, at last, we recognised Australia’s first people in our Constitution - it's part of who we are as a nation. ”

CHRISTINE MILNE, Greens Leader

“I am very proud that my football club, the Adelaide Crows are supporting it and also a lot of my family and friends. I’d urge you to get on board, support Recognise and the wonderful work they do. It’s an opportunity to make our country a lot better”

ANDREW MCLEOD, Adelaide Crows Legend

“I think we have a duty to do the right thing. So I'm encouraging you, as a person you know is pretty conservative, to move yourself to the position where we move this nation forward as one. ”

BARNABY JOYCE, Deputy Leader of the Nationals

“Here in Australia we pride ourselves on equality and opportunity. And it’s time to ensure that our Constitution reflects those values.”

GAVIN WANGANEEN, AFL legend and Brownlow Medallist

“The Constitution of Australia is the rule book of our nation yet the original inhabitants of Australia are not recognised at all.”

DAMIEN ARMSTRONG, Alice Springs local

“We are the First Australians. It's up to all of us to come together and acknowledge and recognise this. We have the longest continuing culture in the world. Aboriginal culture doesn't just belong to Aboriginal Australians. It belongs to all of us.”

MILLIE INGRAM, Wyanga Elder

“This process is about creating a new story for our country in the next era – one in which we are all more proud and more versed in our longer history. When we do that, we will connect our long past to an easier future.”

KHATIJA THOMAS, SA Commissioner for Aboriginal Engagement

“We support Recognition. It’s important for our identity. It’ important to make us feel good, to be proud of who we are and where we come from, and our culture and our people.”

EMMA HAY, CEO of Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation

“I think there are many things that we have to recognise about who we are and who we have been as a nation, but we should also recognise what we can be. I think that’s a great message.”

CLYDE RIGNEY, Raukkan Community Leader

“I think if we get recognition we can move forward in leaps and bounds. I believe it will heal a lot of wounds and say to First Australians that we are an important part of this country. If we get recognition in my lifetime, I would die a happy woman.”

JILL GALLAGHER, VACCHO CEO

“Our nation’s Constitution will be inherited by our children and future generations – let’s fix it now, and not leave this work to them. Let our children know that when we had the opportunity to advance Australia fair, we did.”

SONIA WATERS, Director of Aboriginal Services, Anglicare

SERVING OUR COUNTRY

Posted on 23.04.2014 in RECOGNISE News 0

In every major military conflict that Australians have fought from the Boer War onwards, tens of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander personnel have served our country in the nation’s defence forces. An exciting new project sets out to recognise this long history of Indigenous contribution.

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Last month, Tara Enchong became the first Torres Strait Islander woman to receive the RAAF’s 'Airman of the Year' award. Here she reflects on what this meant to her and why she wants to see recognition in the constitution.

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Adelaide Crows legend Andrew McLeod proudly donned his distinctive ‘R’ shirt this month to help build support for the nation’s next big referendum with the entire Adelaide Football Club behind him.

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