Email The Conversation By Gabrielle Appleby and Gemma McKinnon, UNSW Posted May 22, 2017 13:27:45 Photo: Painting the 1967 referendum as a ‘success’ in terms of reform for Aboriginal people is problematic. (ABC News, file photo) External Link: Right Wrongs: Look back on the 1967 referendum Related Story: Will constitutional recognition mean anything to Aboriginal families? Map: Australia May 27 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum. As the date approaches, many are reflecting on a moment that is recalled as one of the great “successes” in the advancement of Indigenous Australians.However, painting the referendum as a “success” in terms of effective reform for Aboriginal people is problematic. Certainly, gaining more than 90 per cent of voter support constituted an extraordinary electoral success.There was also an important symbolic success in the Australian people voting to recognise Aboriginal people as part of the nation.But, more substantively, the referendum fell far short in giving people what they thought they were voting for, and in giving Aboriginal people what they wanted from it.This holds lessons for the ongoing debate on the best way to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the constitution.What were people voting for?There is a widespread myth… Read full this story
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