In the spirit of encouraging the expression of opinions and providing a space for dissenting views, I decided to ask the writers of this week’s SRC Reports to reflect on the issue of constitutional recognition.
It is vital that we as a country give this possibility the consideration it warrants, in light of the continuing injustices Indigenous people face every day.
While it is my view that constitutional recognition is necessary to begin to remedy injustices of the past, we must consider: is it possible that constitutionally entrenching the significance of Australia’s first People could cause them further disadvantage? At first glance, the clear answer is ‘no’.
However, given the tendency of governments to pander to the short-term desires of the majority, constitutional recognition lends no guarantee that Indigenous affairs will continue to receive the same level of already inadequate attention and funding.
Perhaps I’m cynical, but realistically, why would a government bother allocating more resources to tackling serious issues that affect Indigenous people now, when the Australian population thinks that the ‘Black Box’ has already been ticked?
It only makes sense that governments would gloss over these problems and move onto the next big vote winner.
In this climate of political insincerity, will constitutional recognition push Indigenous people further behind in Australia’s history, or will it bring current shortcomings into focus and create pressure for improvement? The SRC offers some of their views on this contentious issue.