Indigenous forms of resistance in the context of constitutional recognition

Graphic of sign with 'Resistance' in shattered font

Event details


Date & time

Tuesday 08 November 2016


Seminar Room 1.04, Coombs Extension Building (8), Fellows Road, ANU
ANU Canberra


Jon Altman, Shelley Bielefeld, Asmi Wood, Mary Spiers Williams


02 6125 8247

The podcast of this panel session is now available.

Resistance is a core concept for understanding regulation and governance. Resistance can mean active social mobilisation to change policy, non-compliance or resistance that is so quiet or passive that it is hard to identify.

In an era of increasingly polarised politics and populist anger, RegNet’s Conversations on Resistance seminar series in the month of November will focus on this concept and various manifestations of resistance across several contexts.

The seminars will address the following questions: what kinds of methodologies are best suited to examine resistance? What are the mechanisms of resistance? To whom or what is resistance directed? Who benefits from resistance? What roles do leaks and whistle blowers play in understanding the phenomenon of resistance? Specific topics will include asylum seekers, Indigenous resistance, everyday resistance and the Brexit.

The following seminars are scheduled on Tuesdays in November:

Please visit the links above for more detailed information about each Conversations On Resistance seminar and also to register.

This second seminar in the series is Indigenous forms of resistance in the context of constitutional recognition.

Constitutional recognition of Australia’s First Peoples has sparked regular debate in recent years, absorbed much political attention and significant resources. Yet recognition remains contentious.

A consultation hosted by the Victorian government in February 2016 revealed resistance to recognition, where Victoria’s First Nations voted against recognition, and passed a motion that a treaty or treaties were preferred. Thus questions remain about what is to be recognised by whom and whether constitutional recognition should take place.

How would recognition affect the lives of those being ‘recognised’? Would self-determination for First Peoples be compromised by constitutional recognition? Are there other areas of law and policy in more urgent need of reform? What problems might remain even if the government’s (as yet unclear) proposals for recognition meet with a ‘yes’ vote? Would constitutional recognition disrupt or reproduce recent government trends to intensively regulate Indigenous peoples?

RegNet’s Jon Altman and Shelley Bielefeld and the ANU College of Law’s Asmi Wood and Mary Spiers Williams will consider these issues.

Please register your interest in attending via this webform. The email you provide at registration will only be used to contact you if the seminar is rescheduled or venue is changed.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet