Daley, Paul: Five factors that will shape the outcome for ‘recognise’ at Uluru

Paul Daley

Five factors that will shape the outcome for “recognise” at Uluru‘, Guardian Australia, 24 May 2017 updated

Surveys the state of play as the Uluru conference gets under way. The ‘five factors’: the lack of interest of many Indigenous Australians in being recognised in the Constitution (given that they never ceded sovereignty to ‘settler’ Australians): the need for truth telling rather than poetic references to a long Indigenous history; the need to learn the many lessons of history – 2017 is not just the 50th anniversary of a referendum that led nowhere; Australia has been ‘utterly remiss’ since 1967 on advancing Indigenous outcomes; the certainty that, at a referendum, the ‘white’ vote will outweigh the ‘black’ vote, particularly given the relatively low proportion of Indigenous Australians who will vote, let alone be enrolled.

Given the disparate experiences [says Daley] of delegates and their divergent views (on recognition versus treaties and another publicly-funded elected Indigenous representative body, reconciliation ahead of public truth telling, and agreeing to recognition when sovereignty has never been surrendered), anticipating agreement on so momentous a proposition vastly underestimates the complexities. But then again, our white politicians have always imposed expectations on Indigenous political comportment and consensus-making they’d never self-apply.

An earlier article by Paul Daley on this subject. More background to Uluru. Paul Daley is one of Honest History’s distinguished supporters. He contributed chapter 17 (‘Our most important war: The legacy of frontier conflict’) to The Honest History Book. A later piece from Daley.


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