Before the settlement of Europeans in Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People were not considered deserving of the rights of humanity and they were deprived of the citizenship of Australia. The constitution of Australia was drafted during this time. The Aboriginal people were also not involved in the discussion where it was discussed how a new nation will be created on their Ancestral territory (Garling 2013). These Aboriginal people were not even mentioned when the constitution of Australia was framed. The Australian constitution does not recognize the rights of the Aboriginal people. However the process of Aboriginal Recognition can help the Aboriginal people to a certain extent to continue their struggle for Aboriginal rights and self-determination. The Aboriginal community has to struggle for employment, their educations needs are not fulfilled, they live in rural areas and their health is not taken care of. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to face discrimination from the Western immigrants in Australia (Short 2016).
The British invaded Australia and colonized the country and the Aboriginal and Torres Island community never received sovereign rights in Australia. However the concept of Aboriginal Recognition in the constitution of the country can help these indigenous Australians in multiple of ways. However, indigenous leaders of the country do not want a mere recognition in the constitution. They want their own and separate representative body which will help them in their struggle of rights and self-determination. The Aboriginal and Torres Islanders community feel that their children are continuously alienated from their families and the youths of the community are deprived of their rights. A mere recognition in the constitution might not help the community to obtain their sovereign rights. The Aboriginal community wants a First Nations Voice to be established in the constitution of Australia. The members of the community feel that their youths are endangered and they need to be protected from the discrimination from the immigrants of the Western nations.
The Aboriginal community and the Torres Strait Islander people demand for reforms in the Australian constitution which will empower all members of their community (Morphy 2013). They have the firm conviction that only when they have full control of their destiny, then only their children and the youth members of the community will have a protected future and will flourish. The Aboriginal community demands a “voice” in the parliament and feels that mere recognition in the Australian constitution will not be enough to protect their rights. Hundreds of members of the community have travelled to Uluru and tried to reach a consensus on whether they need a referendum or a constitutional recognition will be sufficient for them to continue their struggle for sovereign rights. The Aboriginal and the Torres Islander community have demanded a model for change. The members of the community continued their discussion for six months and they reached the consensus that they do not want mere acknowledgement but also they firmly want for themselves a treaty and a justice commission. The Commonwealth country Australia is the only nation which does not have treaty to protect the rights of Aboriginal people (Glaskin and Weiner 2013). There is the problem in the determination of the belonging to the continuing cultures of the Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander peoples. The unstructured nature of the ‘culture’ raises the concern among the group that the indigenous people of Australia will be given preference over the non-indigenous residents in many legal circumstances. There has to be the recognition of these people in a symbolic declaration, which is outside the Constitution. However, there has to be constitutionally established body of the indigenous leaders to give an opinion to the Parliament on the affairs of the Indigenous people (Johnston et al., 2013). The discrimination of the non-indigenous Australians against the indigenous people has reduced since the impact of the ‘Act of recognition’. Indigenous Australians have not been recognized as the sovereign people or offered a settlement after the British had invaded and colonized their native lands.
This recognition diverts the community and the government to help these indigenous people of Australia in substantial manners. This recognition will also create a multitude of legal complications (Kingsley et al., 2013). The new recognition proposals with detailed substance give rise to new oppositions. There are elementary concerns that are expressed by the opponents that are a background for debate. This multi-party process is going through the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the final report of Review Panel. There is and a clear set of proposals to guide the path towards a successful referendum.
The Aboriginal and the Torres Strait peoples are the first people of the Nation. The colonization by the British has left a devastating effect on the people of the Aboriginal and the Torres Strait, their culture and identify. The Commonwealth Nationality and Citizenship Act of 1948 have provided the citizenship of Australia to all the Australians including the people of the Aboriginal and the Torres Strait. Nevertheless, there has been a struggle to fight for the issue of citizenship and attaining the basic human rights (Morphy & Smith, 2013). The colonization had resulted in the destruction of the economic, social and the political nature of the societies of the Indigenous people. They were marginalized and subjugated by the new colonial administrations that were imposed. The free self-indigenous societies who could self determine were reduced to the population who were the minorities in the colonial states. The increase in the presence of the indigenous people has brought the promotion of the various issues of the indigenous people. This ‘act of recognition’ has brought has the indigenous people to have a sense of their history and bring a response to the injustice that has occurred in the past and present. The issue of the ‘act of recognition’ and the right of the self-determination is there in the drafting process. This interest on the indigenous people of the Aboriginal and the Torres Strait occurred from the concern of the minority groups after the First and the Second World Wars (Patrick, 2015). The ‘act of recognition’ brought about the effective participation of these Aboriginal and the Torres Strait people in the larger society. As is known to all that racial discrimination is a major aspect of concern in different parts of the world and Australia is no exception in that (Holmes, 2013). One of the major areas of concern that has been going on around in Australia is the issues with the Aboriginal and the people of the Torres Strait Island (Ashman et al., 2016). There have been issue of racial discrimination and issues of social exclusion as well. The Aboriginal community has reported incidents of racial and social discriminations everywhere, particularly in areas of work and school and government (McKenna ,2014).
In order to avoid this issue that was being faced by these people the government started adopting several policies (Bates, 2014). In other words, several bills were passed and one among them of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait people recognition act of 2015. According to this people the Government would look into this fact so that more and more people from the group of these aboriginals are encouraged to enter into the mainstream employment, that is the Government will try to recognize further interactions with the Aboriginal and Torres strait islander peoples and other Australians in order to initiate further refinement of the proposal and to support the necessary changes for successful constitutional change. But the change cannot be brought just within the time of a single day. It is a very long term process and is complicated as well. The first and foremost thin g that is to be done is to see that the bill is passed on right from the ground root level in order to attain an overall and all pervasive change. Efforts are being made to abolish the concept of racial discrimination from the minds of people and this is done by bringing in the aboriginals into the public fronts where they can meet or come in close contact with the other Australians.
Thereby it is concluded from the essay that responsibility of the Government does not end just be passing the bill. There remains a major work to do. This is just the beginning and there is still much work to do and a major path left to travel. It is being expected by the Government that by 2017, all the policies and rules of this act will be properly implemented. Hence, it is expected that in this three years time, people can redouble their cooperation and mutual joint efforts so that a majority amount of votes can be obtained from the Australian Nationality and it is needless to say that this joint effort of the entire nation will perhaps turn this aspiration into a reality.
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