All states done; nation to come!

Posted on 27.10.2016 in 1

There has been a unanimous vote in the Tasmanian Parliament to recognise Aboriginal people in the state’s Constitution! Tasmania is the final state to do this!

“That’s it now – all states done; the nation to come,”  says RECOGNISE Joint Campaign Director Mark Yettica Paulson.

“This amendment to the Tasmanian Constitution will acknowledge the long and proud history of Aboriginal people. We congratulate the Tasmanian Government and Parliament for taking this work to the community and now into law.”

Aboriginal peoples from Cygnet, Circular Head, Devonport, North East, East Coast, Bruny and Flinders Island communities, watched on as the State Parliament passed the amendment.

Among them was Fiona Hamilton, Tasmanian Aboriginal woman, Director of melythina tiakana warrana, artist and leader.

“This is a really proud moment in our state’s history and a significant step towards being ready to bring about national constitutional reform. Right now we will be looking at the next opportunities here in Tasmania and how we can celebrate this historic milestone,” she said.

Tasmanian RECOGNISE Youth Rep and Aboriginal man from Tommengene land on the North West of Tasmania, 20 year old Caleb Nichols- Mansell said that “the difficult history between Tasmanian Aboriginal people and governments over many decades is widely acknowledged. We have worked hard to correct many inaccuracies about our very existence.

“This piece of legislation makes me feel part of my state, and says that my state is proud of our history and culture. It allows us to turn a corner. Today we have seen our Parliament acknowledge our formal place in our State’s history, and I join hundreds of thousands of other Australians who are working towards recognition at a national level,” he says.

Tasmanians for Recognition supporter Fiona Hughes said the Tasmanian Aboriginal community has a proud and resilient history and it is great to see that recognised in the state’s constitution.

“The story of my ancestors is a rich story of resilient people who have made this place their home for more than 40,000 years. It is a story that must be honoured and acknowledged and I am glad this day has come where the Tasmanian Parliament has finally recognised us.”

Mr Yettica Paulson says he is looking forward to the day when all Australians take pride in our shared history and fix the national constitution.

“When I talk to people about the lack of recognition and the racial discrimination in the national Constitution they are shocked and express their desire to see it changed. Now that every state has enacted recognition, we can all turn our attention to fixing the Australian Constitution.”

A celebration for all of us!

  • Andrew Lee

    The fact that all state constitutions have recognised an indigenous presence in this land prior to european settlement seems to be a forgotten and most significant argument in presenting the case as to why there is this constant delay in recognition in our nations national constitution?.This ammendment to our nations national document is asking nothing but a long overdue reference to a race of people that have lost so much and endured such hardship and all they ask is to be at the very little acknowledged . It will not affect anyone’s day to day life other than giving aboriginal people a better sense of self worth and possibly assist in providing a little empathy from a greater proportion of the community of the plight this people have had to and continue to endure and with this possible further understanding may assist in healing unresolved wounds.