General resources

Recent lectures and videos

Indigenous constitutional recogntion (UNSW Thoughtleaders Playlist) with Megan Davis

Senate Occasional Lecture by Prof Megan Davis, 'Competing notions of constitutional 'recognition': 'truth and justice or living off the crumbs that fall from the White Australian tables, 2014.


Australian Constitution

Constitution Act 1902 (NSW)

Constitution of Queensland 2001 (Qld)

Constitution Act 1934 (SA)

Constitution Act 1934 (Tas)

Constitution Act 1889 (WA)

Constitution Act 1975 (Vic)

Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 (Cth)

Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act 1978 (Cth)

Federal Convention Debates

Parliament of Australia, Senate, Records of the Australasian Federal Conventions of the 1890s

Official Record of the Debates of the Australasian Federal Convention (Legal Books, 1986) volumes 1–6


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, Recognition, Rights and Reform: A Report to Government on Native Title Social Justice Measures (1995)

Recognition Rights and Reform: A report to government on Native Title social justice measures (ATSIC)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Indigenous Social Justice: Strategies and Recommendations (1995)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner,Social Justice Report 2008 (2009) chapter 2

Australia 2020 Summit, ‘Options for the Future of Indigenous Australia’ in Australia 2020 Summit Final Report (2008) chapter 7

Constitutional Commission, Final Report of the Constitutional Commission 1988 (1988)

Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, Going Forward: Social Justice for the First Australians (1995)

Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, Reconciliation: Australia’s Challenge (2000) chapter 10

Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, Roadmap for Reconciliation: Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Rights (2000)

National Human Rights Consultation Committee, Report (2009) chapter 9

Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee, Parliament of Australia, Reconciliation: Off Track (2002)

Senate Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Two Hundred Years Later …: Report on the Feasibility of a Compact or ‘Makarrata’ Between the Commonwealth and Aboriginal People (1983)


Guy Aitken and Robert Orr, Sawer’s The Australian Constitution (Australian Government Solicitor, 3rd ed, 2002)

Larissa Behrendt, Achieving Social Justice: Indigenous Rights and Australia’s Future (Federation Press, 2003)

Tony Blackshield and George Williams, Australian Constitutional Law and Theory (Federation Press, 5th ed, 2010)

Gerard Carney, The Constitutional Systems of the Australian States and Territories (Cambridge University Press, 2006)

Jennifer Clarke, Patrick Keyzer and James Stellios, Hanks’ Australian Constitutional Law (LexisNexis Butterworths, 8th ed, 2009)

Heather McRae et al, Indigenous Legal Issues (Lawbook, 4th ed, 2009)

John Chesterman and Brian Galligan, Citizens Without Rights: Aborigines and Australian Citizenship (Cambridge University Press, 1997)

Bede Harris, A New Constitution for Australia (Cavendish, 2002)

Barbara Hocking (ed), Unfinished Constitutional Business?: Rethinking Indigenous Self-Determination (Aboriginal Studies Press, 2005)

Helen Irving, To Constitute a Nation: A Cultural History of Australia’s Constitution (Cambridge University Press, revised ed, 1999)

Glenn Patmore (ed), The Big Makeover: A New Australian Constitution (Pluto Press, 2002)

Henry Reynolds, Aboriginal Sovereignty: Three Nations, One Australia? (Allen & Unwin, 1996)

Journal Articles

Larissa Behrendt, ‘Indigenous Self-Determination: Rethinking The Relationship Between Rights And Economic Development’ (2001) 24University of New South Wales Law Journal 850

Megan Davis, ‘A Culture of Disrespect: Indigenous Peoples and Australian Public Institutions’ (2006) 8 University of Technology Sydney Law Review 135

Megan Davis, ‘Indigenous Rights and the Constitution: Making the Case for Constitutional Reform’ (2008) 7(8) Indigenous Law Bulletin 6

Colin Dillon, ‘Indigenous People and Citizenship’ (Speech delivered at the 50th Anniversary of Australian Citizenship Conference, University of Melbourne, 21–23 July 1999)

Michael Dodson and Lisa Strelein, ‘Australia’s Nation-Building: Renegotiating the Relationship Between Indigenous Peoples and the Australian State’ (2001) 68 University of New South Wales Law Journal 826

Haigh Patapan, ‘The Dead Hands of The Founders? Original Intent and the Constitutional Protection of Rights and Freedoms in Australia’ (1997) 25 Federal Law Review 211

Geoffrey Sawer, ‘The Australian Constitution and the Australian Aborigine’ (1966–67) 2 Federal Law Review 17

Adrienne Stone, ‘Australia’s Constitutional Rights and the Problem of Interpretive Disagreement’, (2005) 27 Sydney Law Review 29

George Williams, ‘Race and the Australian Constitution: From Federation to Reconciliation’ (2000) 38 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 639

Other Resources

Mick Dodson 'Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians', Papers on Parliament (PDF)

Patrick Dodson, Mahatma Gandhi Inaugural Oration, University of New South Wales, 30 January 2012

ABC Radio National, ‘Rudd Pledges Indigenous Recognition in the Constitution’, PM, 23 July 2008

Larissa Behrendt, ‘From the Periphery to the Centre: A New Role for Indigenous Rights’ (Speech delivered at the Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales Justice Awards, NSW Parliament House, 13 October 2003)

Larissa Behrendt, ‘Indigenous Rights and the Australian Constitution – A Litmus Test for Democracy’ (Paper delivered at the ACORN 2001 Symposium: Constitutions and Human Rights in a Global Age – An Asia Pacific Perspective, Canberra, 1–3 December 2001)

Sean Brennan and George Williams, ‘Reconciliation Must be Practical and Symbolic – But it Needs Federal Support’, Online Opinion (online), 14 April 2003

Tom Calma, ‘“Still Riding for Freedom” – An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Human Rights Agenda for the Twenty-First Century’ (Speech delivered at the Charles Perkins AO Memorial Oration 2008, University of Sydney, 23 October 2008)

Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies About the Constitution website

Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies, Fact Sheet 8.1: The Indigenous Peoples of Australia and the Constitution

Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies, Fact Sheet 8.2: Section 25 of the Constitution

Michael Dodson, ‘The Continuing Relevance of the Constitution for Indigenous Peoples’ (Speech delivered at the National Archives of Australia, Canberra, 13 July 2008)

Patrick Dodson, ‘1999 Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture: “Until the Chains are Broken”’ (2000) 5(2) Australian Indigenous Law Reporter 73

Patrick Dodson, ‘Nulungu Lecture’ (Speech delivered at the University of Notre Dame, Broome, 21 August 2008)

Justin Malbon, Indigenous Rights Under the Australian Constitution: A Reconciliation Perspective (PhD Thesis, University of New South Wales, 2002)

Ronald Sackville, ‘Indigenous Peoples of Australia and the Constitution’ (Speech delivered at the New South Wales Schools State Constitutional Convention, Parliament House, 18 November 2002)

George Williams, ‘The Treaty Debate, Bills of Rights and the Republic: Strategies and Lessons for Reform’ (Speechdelivered in the AIATSIS Treaty Seminar Series ‘Limits and Possibilities of a Treaty Process in Australia’, Canberra, 3 September 2001)

Yolngu and Bininj Leader, ‘Communiqué to the Australian Government from Yolngu and Bininj Leaders at Yirrkala’, 23 July 2008

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