Constitutional Recognition

The Australian 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 19 March 2018, the Parliament agreed to establish a Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People (the Committee).The Committee is co-chaired by Mr Julian Leeser MP and Senator Patrick Dodson. The Committee has been tasked with recommending options for constitutional change which meet the expectations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and will secure the support of the Parliament and the Australian people.

The Committee has heard from a number of key stakeholders across the country at hearings in the Kimberley region, Barunga, Canberra, Dubbo, Sydney, Adelaide, and Perth. These conversations have informed the Committee’s interim report which was provided to the Parliament in July 2018. 

The Committee is continuing to consult with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader community, and provide its final report to Parliament by 29 November 2018.

The Committee follows on from the Indigenous led and designed consultation process undertaken by the Referendum Council. This culminated in the National Indigenous Constitutional Convention where the 'Uluru Statement from the Heart' was adopted.

The Referendum Council was appointed by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in December 2015, to advise on next steps toward constitutional change. The Final Report of the Referendum Council was delivered to the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition in June 2017 and was publically released in July 2017.

The Government responded to the Referendum Council’s report in October 2017. Read the Government’s response.



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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.