A panel of experts, including UNSW’s Professor Patrick Dodson and Professor Megan Davis, has recommended formal recognition of Indigenous people in the Australian Constitution and the removal of racially discriminatory provisions.

The panel of 22 Indigenous leaders, politicians and lawyers made the recommendations to the federal government after holding year-long public meetings and consultations across Australia.

The government aims to hold a referendum on the issues at or before the next federal election, due in 2013.

Professor Dodson, who leads UNSW’s Indigenous Policy and Dialogue Research Unit, was one of the co-chairs of the panel, which also included Associate Professor Davis, director of UNSW’s Indigenous Law Centre

 “Those of us travelling [the road to Constitutional change] will need fortitude, patience, staying power and fierce determination,” Professor Dodson told the Sydney Morning Herald.

The recommendations have received broad support from both sides of politics. The federal government will now consider the recommendations before drafting legislation to be put to parliament ahead of any referendum vote.

Read the full SMH story here.

Listen to ABC Radio National’s interview with Professor Dodson here.

For an analysis of the issues read UNSW’s Professor George Williams' article here.

Media contact: Steve Offner, UNSW Media Office | 02 9385 8107 | 0424 580 208