ACL welcomes bi-partisan efforts to recognise Indigenous Tasmanians
The Australian Christian Lobby today offered in-principle support for Premier Will Hodgman and Labor MP Madeleine Ogilvie’s efforts to recognise indigenous people in Tasmania’s constitution.
ACL’s Tasmanian director Mark Brown said the willingness of the premier and Ms Ogilvie to work across the political divide for the betterment of indigenous people was welcome.
“Our Indigenous citizens have played a key role in forming the social and cultural heritage of our nation. Nevertheless, our history shows they haven’t always been treated with the respect they deserved and sadly Tasmania’s indigenous population was all but wiped out.
“If a Tasmanian bill passes, it will assist broader efforts to recognise Indigenous people in the proposed national referendum to recognise indigenous people in the Australian Constitution in 2017.
“There is an opportunity for Tasmania to play a leadership role in our nation.”
In order to win as widespread support from Tasmanians as possible, Mr Brown said it was important the bill was based on the simple proposition of recognition.
“While we should all respect other religions, including those of the indigenous population prior to white settlement, recognition of Aboriginal spirituality would unnecessarily complicate the important work of official indigenous recognition,” Mr Brown said.