Constitutional Recognition

The Government is committed to the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution. Recognition would acknowledge our shared history and the value we place on our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage.

On 7 December 2015, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition appointed a Referendum Council to advise on next steps toward constitutional change.

The Referendum Council conducted digital consultations, a written submissions process and Indigenous designed and led consultations. The Indigenous consultation process included 12 First Nations Regional Dialogues held across the country, culminating in the National Constitutional Convention where the 'Uluru Statement from the Heart' was adopted.

The Final Report of the Referendum Council was delivered to the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition on 30 June 2017 and was publically released on 17 July 2017.

On 26 October the Government responded to the Referendum Council’s report; to read the Government’s response visit the Prime Minister’s website.

The Government has agreed to establish a Joint Select Committee to consider existing work done by the Expert Panel on Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution in 2012, the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in 2015 and the Referendum Council in 2017.

The Referendum Council's website includes further information about the Council's process, including the Discussion Paper that was used to inform the Regional Dialogues, public submissions and its Final Report.


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More information on constitutional recognition and consultation activities is available on the Referendum Council’s website.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain images and voices of deceased people.