Megan Davis appointed to Referendum Council

Professor Megan Davis has been appointed to the Referendum Council announced Monday 7 December by Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten. Co-chaired by Patrick Dodson and Mark Liebler and consisting of 14 other members, the Council is charged with overseeing the next steps towards a successful referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia’s Constitution. However Professor Davis, speaking on Radio National yesterday, cautioned against such an assumption, and warned that the model should be right before focus turned to a possible date for the referendum.

‘If the reforms aren't going to make a significant difference to their lives, if it's not going to advance the legal status or position that they have currently, then it's a huge amount of political capital and money to expend on something that's not going to take us forward,’ she said.

‘In terms of deadlines, I think we just have to get the model right, we have to get communities back on side,’ she said. ‘Deadlines are important, but I don't think we should focus on the date before we have even come up with a model.’ The Council will meet for the first time next week.

The Indigenous Law Centre, of which Professor Megan Davis is Director, has been working in the area of Constitutional reform for more than 30 years. The ILC has been pushing for Aboriginal conventions that will take place next year: it is our position that it is for Aboriginal people to decide in what form constitutional reform takes. You can access our resources here.

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