Submission to the Inquiry into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Recognition Bill 2012

The St Vincent de Paul Society shares a vision of an Australia in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, languages, philosophies and cultures penetrate the marrow of our institutions, our organisations, our communities and the lives of all Australians.

We principally support recognition of the first Australians in our founding document of law and government. As such, we support this Bill in its setting a framework for a review of support for a referendum, leading to ultimate Constitutional recognition

It is axiomatic that justice delayed is justice denied. The absence of Constitutional recognition of the First Peoples of Australia is a grave injustice. In many ways this absence is emblematic of the host of structural and historical injustices that the First Peoples have been, and continue to be, subjected to. While Constitutional recognition will not erase these many forms of injustice it is a matter of deep sadness and shame for us as a nation that we are faced with this further delay in taking this important step in our national journey of recognising the historical truth and honouring the First Peoples.