Australia's past and present indigenous commissioners have announced a plan for constitutional reform to give indigenous people "a rightful place in our nation."
Indigenous Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar and her four predecessors Mick Gooda, Tom Calma, Mick Dodson and William Jonas presented the proposal to a parliamentary committee on constitutional recognition of Australia's indigenous people.
In their submission, the five indigenous rights leaders called for the government to consult with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders "to finalize the working of constitutional recognition."
Oscar said that she and the previous commissioners had campaigned for constitutional recognition for 25 years.
"We are hoping our submission, based on more than two decades of advocacy, offers a pathway forward to address the unfinished business in this country," she told the Guardian Australia on Wednesday.
"What we now need is strong political leadership to take this forward."
They voiced strong support for the establishment of an indigenous voice to parliament, as recommended by 2017's historic Uluru statement.
The statement, which was finalized in May 2017 after six months of talks between indigenous leaders, recommended that an independent indigenous voice to parliament be enshrined in the Australian Constitution.
In order for the body to be embedded in the Australian Constitution, a referendum would need to be held.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's government has ruled out taking the proposal to a referendum, saying it didn't have "any realistic prospect of being supported" by a majority of Australians in a majority of states, which is required for a referendum to be successful.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK