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Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians: Introduction


Resource Key

Resource Level

We have graded each source in this Research Guide according to the following levels. 

Level 1

Brief, easy to read information which may be basic and use informal language. Newspaper articles are generally this level.

Level 2

Generally includes subject-specific language, provides additional reading and may provide additional background information.

Level 3

Typically, these will be longer in length, detailed and contain technical information.


"The Australian Constitution does not mention Indigenous people. It does not ackhnowledge their prior occupancy, nor recognise any pre-existing aboriginal rights ...  Constitutions are symbolic, but they are also deeply imbued with political values. They tell us what it means to be part of the state; what it means to be a citizen. They tell us who really belongs and who doesn't ... People have fundamentally different ideas about the nation that the Constitution establishes. They differ on how people should be included in that nation, and how democracy should be inclusive or, indeed, whether substantive inclusivity should even be a political objective. Recognition is therefore difficult to achieve" (O'Sullivan, 2018).


Law Reform in Australia

Law reform involves the progressive development of the law in order to ensure that law is fit for contemporary conditions. Law reform is often promoted or undertaken in response to the identification of gaps in existing law, or where defects are found in an existing law. Read More ...

Key terms

Key Terms

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