NACCHO #HealthElection16 #Reconciliation week : It a long walk to Indigenous reform , recognition and a treaty

Mal Bull

“The government’s position is to support the recognition of our first peoples in the Constitution,”

“My party, my government, is committed to that constitutional recognition, but we obviously have to have the form of words, the amendment, coming from our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities because it has to be an amendment that is not only acceptable and supported by the broader Australian community in the referendum, but it also has to be an amendment that is meaningful, that sings, that speaks to the First Australians.’’

Malcolm Turnbull PM

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Sarah Firth illustrates the ideas and passion emanating from #SelfDeterminationVIC forum in Melbourne, Victoria (see Below)

From Todays Australian OPINION

Patricia Karvelas presents RN Drive on ABC Radio. She also anchors a weekly political and national affairs program on Sky.

It may not be one of the central campaign issues but if Malcolm Turnbull becomes Prime Minister again on July 3, his pledge to get indigenous constitutional reform through is fraught.

The notion that there is bipartisanship on this issue masks a deeper truth. Significant numbers of Liberal and National MPs are deeply agnostic about this issue or actively resistant and prepared to break ranks.

One MP told me the recognition process had failed to go through party processes from the moment John Howard had promised it in 2007. The view is that this has “never” gone through the partyroom and that the Liberal Party “base” would never accept even the most basic change, let alone something more ambitious.

What complicates this for the Prime Minister is that indigenous Australians will never accept tokenistic changes to the nation’s founding document. Why would they use significant political capital to achieve a reform that is superficial and meaningless? Turnbull faces the challenge of satisfying their needs against a group in his own party who think almost any change is too much. Minimalism is an option they would consider to forge peace — but the minimalism would fail to satisfy most activists in this space.

One unintentional consequence of Tony Abbott being deposed as prime minister is some Coalition MPs becoming emboldened to reject changing the Constitution to acknowledge First Australians. The great irony is that Tony Abbott — the conservative — was given more licence to push this agenda by his side of politics because he had made it his signature issue.

Brand Abbott — with all its eccentricities — was deeply linked to indigenous constitutional reform. Turnbull by contrast, though “wetter” and more progressive, has not made this his signature issue. Some fear that will be exploited by some constitutional conservatives among the Coalition MPs.

Those people feel steamrolled by the entire process and are prepared to resist change when the process reaches a tipping point and a question is presented.

One MP told me there had been a plan to push back against Abbott on this issue when a question was finally framed and that there was a widespread view that he had mismanaged the local governed referendum he initially supported but then dumped.

Some Turnbull supporters say though there is division on this issue, his experience with the republic means he will more deftly manage it in a divided partyroom.

“No one knows how hard it is to get a referendum up more than Malcolm Turnbull. His experience puts him in a far better position to navigate all the problems that referendum campaigns inevitably throw up,” one MP told me on condition of anonymity.

Last week the Prime Minister used the anniversary of the 1967 anti-discrimination referendum to focus on indigenous employment, promising $115 million for entrepreneurs.

He said that on the 49th anniversary of the referendum “we look forward to the referendum on recognition next year. “ Asked about opposition to constitutional recognition of indigenous Australians within the Coalition, Turnbull stood firm on Saturday. “The government’s position is to support the recognition of our first peoples in the Constitution,” he said.

“My party, my government, is committed to that constitutional recognition, but we obviously have to have the form of words, the amendment, coming from our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities because it has to be an amendment that is not only acceptable and supported by the broader Australian community in the referendum, but it also has to be an amendment that is meaningful, that sings, that speaks to the First Australians.’’

Bill Shorten has stopped short of putting a timeframe to a referendum on constitutional recognition if Labor wins on July 2, but says he is committed to it at the earliest possible moment.

Father of reconciliation and now Labor senator Pat Dodson, previously a member of the referendum council, said a series of conventions and conferences still have to settle on a proposal that people support.

Abbott had aimed for May next year to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum. It is unlikely that deadline will be met. But if Turnbull does make this a priority next year, expect some Coalition MPs to threaten to break ranks and run a “no” campaign if the proposition goes too far, in their view. How Turnbull manages this will be one of the biggest early tests of his term if he is returned as Prime Minister. His challenge is complex and enormous.

Patricia Karvelas presents RN Drive on ABC Radio. She also anchors a weekly political and national affairs program on Sky.

Graphic illustrations tell the story of Vic’s historic treaty talk

From NITV

Graphic artist Sarah Firth’s illustrations capture key messages from attendants at the two-day forum, which began Thursday for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in Victoria to form ideas about how to shape a relationship between the Indigenous community and Victorian Government.

“Over two days I carefully listened and captured live summaries of the diverse and rich ideas from the forum, using words and pictures, drawing directly into my iPad at a desk,” Ms Firth told NITV.

“The recordings are a great way to share the key conversation points from these two days with the wider community, and to continue to expand the conversation in an inclusive and engaging way.”

The most powerful views from the two-day Self-determination Forum between the Indigenous community and the Victorian government during 2016 Reconciliation Week.

The forum, moderated by journalist Stan Grant, comes during the annual Reconciliation Week, held between 27 May and 3 June, which aims to grow respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.

Participants and speakers, including Indigenous playwright Richard Frankland, musician Kutcha Edwards and youth campaigner Nayuka Gorrie all called for a treaty, a legally binding agreement between the Indigenous people and the government, to strengthen Indigenous people’s relationship with government and fight disadvantage.

 Self-determination Forum in Victoria.

Self-determination Forum in Victoria.

Some forum members say that they want state and local treaties, and that these agreements would help keep governments accountable for their policies. They discussed treaties could encompass aspects such as Aboriginal culture embedded in town planning, a land tax, a future fund, designated political positions and a state-wide representative body.

 Self-determination Forum in Victoria.

Self-determination Forum in Victoria.

 Self-determination Forum in Victoria.

Self-determination Forum in Victoria.

Other members say the relationship between Indigenous and the government can grow when they get justice for atrocities that governments have perpetuated against them through colonisation, and can practice self-determination.

 Self-determination Forum in Victoria.

Self-determination Forum in Victoria.

 Self-determination Forum in Victoria.

Self-determination Forum in Victoria.

A part of the forum was designated to hearing what Indigenous youth want for their futures. They made strong calls for a treaty.

They also expressed desire for more educational opportunities and for larger society to better understand them.

 Self-determination Forum in Victoria.

Self-determination Forum in Victoria.

 Self-determination Forum in Victoria.

Self-determination Forum in Victoria.

The forum wrapped up on Friday evening with some attendants saying they were uncertain about how a more mutual relationship between Indigenous people and governments would evolve.

However, they also expressed passion to drive the momentum forward with a majority voting to establish a steering committee.

Karen Milward, a Yorta Yorta woman who participated, told NITV she believed the journey would “be long but it is one we need to take now.

“We want to sustain our culture, language, traditions, beliefs, values and practices to be there for our future generations to enjoy and be proud of. We want a treaty in Victoria,” she says.

 Self-determination Forum in Victoria.

Self-determination Forum in Victoria.

 Self-determination Forum in Victoria.

Self-determination Forum in Victoria.

Karen Milward says she thinks the graphic recordings are “a fabulous way to capture our individual and collective thinking about self determination and a treaty in Victoria”.

“The pictures and words show our journey towards self determination and a treaty, and honour the diversity of voices united in one picture.”

The work of Sarah Firth, an award-winning artist, spans illustrations, comics, animations, graphic recording and films, and she’s currently working on her first graphic novel.

Her work emphasises human rights and justice issues such as the 2012 animated documentary Face to Face: Children’s Stories, which aims to grow awareness about children from disadvantaged backgrounds and won the Australian Shorts section of the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival.

She has also produced animations such as the Lady Gagarus Minajaperry, which explores pop culture and celebrityhood.

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