This second seminar in the Conversations on Resistance 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 considered these issues in the second session in the Conversations on Resistance series.