Australia And The Australian Constitution Essay
On the 1st of January 1901, the Australian Constitution took effect and the Commonwealth of Australia was formed. Under the laws of the Australian Government, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were not included as citizens. Instead they were treated as foreigners in their own land.
On the 27th of May 1967, a Federal referendum was held to determine whether two references in the Australian Constitution, which discriminated against Aboriginal people, should be altered or blatantly removed. At the time of the referendum, Harold Holt was the Prime Minister and a Liberal Country Party Coalition Government was in power.
The factual purpose of the referendum was to make two changes to the Australian Constitution. These changes enabled the Commonwealth Government to:
a) Institute laws for all of the Australian people by amending Section 51 of the Constitution.
Section 51. The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to:-
..(xxvi) The people of any race, other than the aboriginal people in any…