Today marks the 50th anniversary of the successful 1967 referendum – one of the most important events in Australia’s modern history.
The referendum, carried by a 90.77 ‘yes’ vote, enabled the Commonwealth to make laws relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and for our First Australians to finally be counted in the official population.
To mark today’s anniversary and the start of National Reconciliation Week, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs will join distinguished guests at a luncheon in Melbourne organised by the AFL, Reconciliation Australia and Crown Resorts. This event will coincide with ‘the Long Walk’ and the ‘Dreamtime at the G’ AFL game – the signature event of the AFL’s Indigenous round.
Today’s anniversary follows a series of events that have acknowledged the importance of the 1967 referendum and the Mabo High Court decision. Next Saturday marks the 25th anniversary of the Mabo court decision that led to the recognition of native title across many parts of Australia.
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister addressed Parliament in the presence of surviving campaigners and family representatives of the 1967 referendum and 1992 Mabo decision, announcing the Government’s historic $138 million Indigenous education package. The Minister for Indigenous Affairs later unveiled a commemorative coin and stamp to mark the two anniversaries.
The Government is committed to working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and is honoured to be a part of the celebration of these important events in our nation’s story.