When a government wants to make a change to the Australian Constitution, their proposed changes have to be put to a vote. This is called a referendum. Read through the resources below to learn more about referendums in Australia.
The only way to change the Australian Constitution is by holding a referendum. This means that the constitution cannot be altered without ‘the approval of the people’. Read through this website to learn more.
When the Constitution first came into being in 1901 there were only two parts that referred to the First Peoples of Australia: Section 51 (xxvi) gave the Commonwealth power to make laws with respect to ‘people of any race, other than the Aboriginal race in any state, for whom it was deemed necessary to make special laws’; and Section 127 provided that ‘in reckoning the numbers of people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives shall not be counted’. This meant that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people weren’t recognised as part of the Australian population. The 1967 referendum sought to change that. Read through this website to learn more.