Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum

May 21, 2023

On 27 May 1967, Australians voted ‘yes’ change the Constitution so that, like all other Australians, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples would be counted as part of the population and the Commonwealth would be able to make laws ‘for’ them instead of individual states and territories.

90.77% voted in favour of the change and every single state and territory  had a majority result for the ‘Yes’ vote.  

To learn more about the 1967 Referendum these are some deadly resources you could use:

We explore some of the tough consequences of invasion, colonisation, massacres, Frontier Wars and subsequent Government policies in our books. While we only make a small reference to the 1967 referendum, our books might be worthwhile reads to understand the past and present situation for First Nations peoples in remote communities. First Nations Australia is vast and diverse- the lived experience of one person, one family, one group of peoples is unique and different.

But the resounding 90.7% ‘yes’ vote in 19767 allowed First Nations peoples to be ‘counted’. Now counted we need to do better- reconciliation, Closing the Gap, Uluru Statement from the Heart. Now we need to move from the Commonwealth making laws ‘for’ them to making laws with First Nations people that benefit and improve conditions for First Nations peoples. The Referendum for a Voice to Parliament might be the chance to make this change.

What can you do today to be an ally?

  • Stand up against racist or bigoted jokes.
  • Listen to First Nations voices.
  • Be a life long learner and be informed.
  • Support First Nations driven causes and organisations.
  • Make your vote count in the Referendum for a Voice to Parliament.

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