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FEATURED PERU: Police clash with protesters in capital Lima over allegations of corruption wanting President to resign

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#AceNewsDesk – Riot police used tear gas to disperse protesters in Peru’s capital Lima, as thousands of people took part in anti-government marches across the country.


Demonstrators want embattled President Pedro Castillo to resign over allegations of corruption.

Watch Protestors on Streets

The left-wing leader, who unexpectedly won power last year, is the subject of six criminal investigations – but denies any wrongdoing.

Peru faces a number of economic issues, including spiralling living costs.

The country was disproportionately badly hit by Covid-19, and poverty levels are forecast to remain above pre-pandemic levels for the next two years, according to the World Bank.

Mr Castillo won the presidency promising to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor, but a Congress dominated by opposition lawmakers has blocked many of his plans.

One of Saturday’s protesters told the Reuters news agency she was taking part for the sake of her children and grandchildren, because “this government is becoming hell”.

Another told the AFP news agency that the country was “on the edge of the precipice; economically everything has stagnated”.

No injuries were reported immediately after police fired tear-gas canisters in Lima in an effort to stop demonstrators from reaching government buildings.

Protests were also reported in a handful of other Peruvian cities, while groups of Mr Castillo’s supporters organised a march of their own in a Lima square.

Following his 2021 victory in a highly polarised vote, Mr Castillo has survived two attempts to oust him from his job through impeachment. 

The 53-year-old was also the subject of a constitutional complaint last month from the attorney-general, who accused Mr Castillo and his family members of being behind a criminal organisation.

The former schoolteacher and strike leader insisted he and has relatives had committed no offences, complaining that his rivals were attempting to unseat him.

On Saturday, Mr Castillo tweeted a defiant message aimed at “the usual enemies” who he blamed for “false accusations” – vowing to continue to fight to free people from inequality.

Peru has seen a number of presidents ousted from office in recent years. In 2020, it had three heads of state in the space of five days.


A protester with a Peruvian flag wanders through a cloud of tear gas

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BREAKING AFRICA: At least 19- dead after plane carrying 39-people crash-lands in largest lake in Tanzania

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#AceBreakingNews – At least 19 – people are dead after a flight carrying 39 passengers made a crashlanding into Lake Victoria while attempting to reach a nearby airport in Tanzania.

The tail of a plan sticks out of the water as workers on a boat climb onto it
The plane was attempting to land at a nearby airport when it crash-landed in the lake. (Reuters: Stringer )none

At least 26 people were rescued from the Precision Air plane, the airline said in a statement on Sunday.

Flight PW494, which departed from the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, crash-landed into the lake as it was approaching the lakeside city of Bukoba, according to Precision Air.

The cause was not immediately clear, but the state broadcaster said the incident took place amid storms and heavy rains.

A witness told the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) he saw the plane flying unsteadily as it approached the airport in poor visibility conditions, saying it took a turn for the airport but missed and went into the lake.

People wade into a lake near boats to reach the tail of a plane sticking out of the water.
Rescuers and locals waded into the water in search of the passengers. (AP: AYO TV)none

Video and pictures circulating on social media showed the plane almost fully submerged, with only its green and brown-coloured tail visible above the water line of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake.

Rescue boats were deployed, and emergency workers were continuing to pull trapped passengers from the plane, TBC reported.

Rescue workers were in touch with the pilots in the cockpit and were attempting to pull the plane from the lake, Albert Chalamila, the chief administrator of Tanzania’s Kagera region, told reporters.

TBC footage showed scores of residents standing along the shoreline and others wading into the shallow waters, as rescuers carried on with their efforts.

Precision Air, Tanzania’s largest privately owned airline, identified the aircraft as an ATR-48. Airline officials did not immediately respond to calls seeking further details about the incident.

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan called for calm as the rescue operation continued.

“I have received with sadness the news of the accident involving Precision Air’s plane,” she tweeted.

“Let’s be calm at this moment when rescuers are continuing with the rescue mission while praying to God to help us.”


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FEATURED AUSTRALIA: Five years ago, more than 250 Indigenous leaders signed off on the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

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#AceNewsDesk – How five young Indigenous people feel about the Voice to Parliament — in their own words

Portrait of Josh Eggington in a white shirt standing outside in afternoon light
Josh Eggington, known as Flewnt, hopes the concerns of grassroots people will be elevated.(ABC Radio Perth: Alicia Bridges)none

They called for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution — which would represent First Nations people to advise the government on Indigenous policy.

Now, that wish could become reality with the Albanese government committing to a referendum next financial year.

We spoke to five young Indigenous people in Western Australia about their hopes, questions and concerns about the Voice, and what it means for the future.

Josh Eggington (Flewnt)

Perth-based Noongar Wongi hip-hop rapper and youth worker.

I think if the voice to parliament, in its perfect form, comes through, then it could be something really good. Something that can be exceptional and can really change the environment for First Nations mob. But that’s if it plays out the way that everyone hopes it will.

What is an Indigenous Voice to Parliament?The Prime Minister has revealed a proposed set of words to be added to the constitution for an Indigenous Voice to Parliament. The Opposition says the move is positive and next step is to explain how it would work. Here’s what we know so far.

I think that also being a community member and Blackfella myself, we’re quite quick to be sceptical about these sorts of things, because we’ve experienced throughout our lives all these great promises that haven’t become fruitful because politicians … become complacent.

It feels like there’s a big movement behind this now … so there is a hopefulness. But I think it is warranted that we are constantly asking questions.

What’s good for one nation? Is that good for another mob on another side of this of this country? Does the process end up finding common ground for everybody?

I know a lot of young people in my age group and mid-20s aren’t really talking about it. I think that there needs to be more push to actually inform our young people, because they are our future leaders.

How terrible would it be if this comes through and it doesn’t work for our mob?

That’d be devastating. It would feel like just another thing that they tried that never worked for us.Referendum Council co-chair Pat Anderson (right) presents the Uluru Statement in 2017.(ABC News: Stephanie Zillman)none

What is crucial is that the people on the community grassroots level are actually heard.

Today … I was talking to my cousin and he’s in jail right now.

He said, “Yeah”, he’d heard a little bit [about the Voice] actually because he listens to the radio a lot.

And he said, “I’ve got plenty of things that I would love to solve”.

It made me think he’s here on Noongar Boodja … if his voice was somehow heard on a high level, would that apply to everybody else around the country too?

The other thing was, he’s in jail, does anyone even care for what he’s got to say?

That really broke my heart. Who gets looked at in this Voice? Is there anybody that’s going to be excluded?’If not now, when?’: PM on Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

Dan Curran

Yamatji man and medical student.

I’m in two minds about it, to be honest.

I’m almost at the point where, until I see something happen or come of it, it’s hard to be optimistic and get excited about these things, because you just get your hopes up, and then get let down. But … you never stop fighting for it and backing it.Overall, Dan Curran is optimistic about what the Voice to Parliament can achieve. (ABC Kimberley: Jessica Hayes)none

At the same time, we’re still having to ask the Australian public? We need to move forward. It’s not about taking over. It’s about having a seat at the table, an equal seat at the table and an equal voice.

I think there should be more information released. The entire nation needs to discuss these topics more.

It’s not good enough to just be like, “Oh, we’re holding a referendum. Boom”.

There are people who are really pushing for it. But there are people who have lost hope around these things.

I think this time, it’s different. The world is different. There’s a Black Lives Matter movement, there is a greater understanding and awareness on a global perspective. And I think Australia has taken or needs to take more notice.

There are also a lot of up-and-coming students and Indigenous people in positions where they have a voice. And I think we’ll make some real progress soon. I truly believe that.

Casey Kickett

Noongar woman from the Whadjuk, Ballardong, Yued and Wardandi countries.

I feel like [the Statement and the Voice is] the epitome of love shown from the First Nations of Australia, with a lot of generosity and patience to non-Indigenous Australians, from all walks of life, to say, we want to figure out this with you. We’re sovereign, you’re sovereign, it coexists.Casey Kickett hopes the Voice can help address issues such as deaths in custody.(ABC Radio Perth: Alicia Bridges)none

The way that it’s been … from our governments isn’t working. We don’t have any say … yet they impact us directly, the laws and policies. Please help give us this voice, so that we can work through these really difficult times and discussions together.

The concern sits with if [the Voice] is denied.

I think there’d be so much hurt within our communities to say, “Oh, you know, non-Indigenous Australia doesn’t want us to have that say, and what impacts us”.

Proposed additions to the Constitution 

1. There shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

2. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice may make representations to parliament and the executive government on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

3. The parliament shall, subject to this constitution, have power to make laws with respect to the composition, functions, powers and procedures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

People who will eventually, if ever, become the Voice, are not elected because of a political party … through the Western system. They will be responsible and have to answer back to the First Nations community.

If we get the policies right, if we get the legislations that come from this … you eventually have less waste, because you don’t have money consistently going in and out of these policies being made … and failing.

I would hope that my children could take where we’re at now, have this [referendum] pass, and actually [be] working towards things that build our community.

Not worrying about incarceration rates, not worrying around deaths in custody, not worrying around these huge health gaps, because we’ve sorted it out through the Voice. Lawyers discuss Indigenous Voice to Parliament plan.

This was a gift from First Nations peoples to non-Indigenous Australia, and it’s to make sure that your children grow up alongside our children.

They’re all safe, they’ve all got the same rights, and they’re respected amongst each other.

I hope people just think with their hearts and act out of love and not out of fear.

Curtley Oakley

Noongar Yamatji man based in Perth.

I think it’s something that will invariably bring out better outcomes, not just for Indigenous Australia, but for Australia as a whole.

I think society flourishes when the people who have been held back historically — when they’ve got the same opportunities as everyone else.Curtley Oakley says more details about the Voice should be released before the referendum. (ABC Radio Perth: Alicia Bridges)none

When you have generations upon generations of negative policy towards Aboriginal Australia, you need to have policy to bring up Aboriginal Australia.

The Voice will be a crucial part of that.

One of the criticisms coming out from opponents is that it’s a third body of Parliament, which is not accurate and I don’t think you want that.

I think it’s important that the governments making policy are listening to it, and treating it with respect and understanding that Aboriginal people understand how to solve Aboriginal issues.

I personally would like to see more detail myself about exactly what’s proposed.The closing ceremony of talks in Central Australia that resulted in the Uluru Statement in 2017.(ABC News: Stephanie Zillman)none

There’ll be an opportunity for the country to grow, whether you’re Indigenous or non-Indigenous, and not necessarily move on from what’s happened in the past, but our future generations will have more opportunity, better outcomes.

Nikki Trigwell

Aboriginal woman and Miss NAIDOC 2022.

[The consequences of not having the Voice now are] if you look back over the last few years you can see how many deaths in custody there has been. And, you know, there was a lot of media about children being moved from the Banksia [Hill Detention Centre] prison to the high adult prison.

That’s just horrible for children, and to have no Aboriginal people in that position to stand up for our people and say, “This is wrong”. That’s a consequence that we’ve all had to suffer with, and deal with in media.Nikki Trigwell says she sees big issues that could be handled better with more representation.(ABC Radio Perth: Alicia Bridges)none

I think one of the biggest things is if people [in positions of power] don’t actually understand what Aboriginal people have been through, they can’t really know how to break the cycle, or make it better, or help these people, because they don’t understand where we’ve come from, or what we’ve had to deal with.

If we had more Aboriginal people in that position, I think things would be able to … get changed instead of putting us to the backburner.

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FEATURED AUSTRALIA LECTURE: Noel Pearson says Indigenous Recognition we are on the last leg of a long journey

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#AceNewsDesk – Noel Pearson is hopeful for Indigenous recognition through a Voice to Parliament in Boyers lecture – ABC News – Watch Noel Pearson’s Boyer Lecture on ABC iview. It will also be broadcast on ABC RN

Boyer Lectures 01 | Who we were, who we are, and who we can be

We are encamped on the hinterlands of the great capitals of the Federation: Hobart, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and the nation’s capital: Canberra, seeking for a majority of these states, in their own right and by a majority of the total of Australian electors, to approve an amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth, recognizing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia through a Voice. Boyer Lectures 01 | Who we were, who we are, and who we can exist

We wait the final stretch. Since we left Uluru on 27 May 2017, millions of Australians have joined the journey.

We are excited but anxious. Our hearts are warm and legs wearied, but our eyes are ever searching over those blue mountains for the great emerald city beyond.

The trek across the vast country has been long, seemingly endless and at times dispiriting, but we are buoyed because the nation’s 31st prime minister committed to us – the Australian people – that a referendum question will soon be put.

We know the nation’s leader must be joined by all his counterparties in the federal parliament, and in the parliaments of the states, and communities across the country – but our hearts are hopeful.‘If not now, when?’ : PM on Indigenous Voice to Parliament

Clouds threaten the horizon and thunderstorms of strife and discord are rumbling. We are worried wind and rain will obscure the remaining pathway through the mountains ahead. That our cause may perish in the mud.

Our journey from the heart will culminate in a national vote within these next 12 months.

Soon every Australian over 18 years will wake up one Saturday morning and make their way in the millions down roads and bridges that cross every great river and harbour, every stream, dry gully and flooding creek through the communities, towns and cities of the nation, to cast their vote in a referendum.

They will each cast their vote on the question of whether the nation should build the greatest bridge – a bridge to unite at long last the First Peoples of this country with our British institutional inheritance and our multicultural achievement, under the constitution.

A bridge to join all Australians in common cause, to work together in partnership to resolve the mutually felt burdens of our past and build a new settlement that celebrates the rightful place of Indigenous heritage in Australia’s national identity.

A constitutional bridge to create an ongoing dialogue between the First Peoples and Australian governments and parliaments, to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

I have taken the bridge metaphor from Channel 9 television reporter, Chris O’Keefe, who gave the best explanation of what this referendum is all about.

The people will vote on the principle – should Indigenous peoples be guaranteed a fairer say in laws and policies made about them – and parliament will legislate the detail.Noel Pearson speaks at Garma Festival in north-east Arnhem Land, August 3, 2019.(ABC News: Tim Leslie)none

O’Keefe explained: “The government [is] effectively asking Australians: ‘Do we need a bridge across the Sydney Harbour? Yes or no?’ With the parliament then to decide how many lanes it will have and its design.”

It is the Australian people who are responsible for recognition through their vote in a referendum. It is their elected parliamentary representatives who design and enact the details in law.

Constitutional recognition will endure, but the legislative details can be changed by the parliament, if and when it chooses to do so.

If we come to see recognition of Indigenous Australians involves mutual recognition of British and migrant Australians, then the people of Australia will vote to build this greatest bridge and the referendum will succeed. Of this I am certain.

Who we were

In this lecture, I will traverse to three periods:

The past I will call ‘who we were’. This is the period from 1778, moving past 1901 and ending in 1967.

Emerging from a screening of a documentary in 2019 about the end days of the footballer Adam Goodes, my thoughts became clear about the trouble Australians have with Aboriginal people. The trouble is readily called racism, and certainly racism has much to do with it, but the reality is not that simple.

We are a much unloved people. We are perhaps the ethnic group Australians feel least connected to. We are not popular and we are not personally known to many Australians. Few have met us and a small minority count us as friends.

And despite never having met any of us and knowing very little about us other than what is in the media – and what [Australian anthropologist WEH] Stanner called ‘folklore’ about us – Australians hold and express strong views about us, the great proportion of which is negative and unfriendly.

Success in the forthcoming referendum, if predicated on our popularity as a people, then it is doubtful we will succeed. It does not, and will not, take much to mobilise antipathy against Aboriginal people and conjure the worst imaginings about us and the recognition we seek.

For those who wish to oppose our recognition, it will be like shooting fish in a barrel. An inane thing to do – but easy. A heartless thing to do – but easy.

Unlike [the] same-sex marriage [referendum], there is not the requisite empathy of love to break through the prejudice, contempt and yes, violence, of the past. Australians simply do not have Aboriginal people within their circles of family and friendship with whom they can share fellow feeling.

I ask each of you: what would your response be if you were on board the Lucinda?

My reflection on the Goodes film produced three thoughts.

First, there is the original sin of Australian racism against Aboriginal people. The old assumption that Aborigines were innately inferior and sub-human was the strongest idea for almost one-and-a-half centuries of colonial thinking.

This is what Stanner said of how these ideas still formed the folklore of Australia at the end of the 1960s:

I was asked the other day whether I did not agree that the Aborigines must have originated and evolved within Australia. My questioner was an earnest and sensible man and I asked him why he thought so.

His answer was: ‘because they are in every way so unlike any other people in the world’. He was quite unaware that he was expressing a view common in Australia more than one hundred and thirty years ago, which has stalwartly withstood all the biological, anthropological and archaeological information built up since that time.

Popular folklore is like that, and our folklore about the Aborigines shows the qualities which distinguish it everywhere, a splendid credulity towards the unlikely and an iron resolve to believe the improbable. It mixes truth, half-truth and untruth into hard little concretions of faith that defy dissolution by better knowledge.

I believe original sin racism has greatly receded and the vast majority of fair-minded Australians are repulsed by it. If there are now few remnants, its legacy is still prevalent.

It is the second part that explains the enduring antipathy against my people today. It is the problem Australians have about the place the settlers/invaders have in this country vis-a-vis Aboriginal peoples.

It is a troubling and unsettled question, involving denial and defensiveness, how to deal with guilt and truth. It is also such an old question going back to colonial days: if the colonists recognised the Indigenous then would that not be a repudiation of who they were and their place in this country.

It is this fear of repudiation that lies at the heart of the country’s trouble with Aboriginal people. The country just does not know how to deal with recognition without the fear of repudiation. Denial and a visceral antipathy is the residual.Former AFL player Adam Goodes was forced to deal with racism during his football career. (Getty Images: Ryan Pierse)none

After the discombobulation of the Goodes film, I realised a third aspect of this trouble: it is what I call the white versus white over black problem.

A large part of the conflagration in these past 50 years, since racism became unacceptable in the 1960s, is the fight between progressive and conservative Australians over race and Aboriginal people.

Aboriginal people are the subjects of this fight, but they are not its prime protagonists. This is what is now the culture war between liberals and conservatives in the United States and progressives and conservatives here in Australia. That we have followed the Americans in this is unfortunate but not surprising.

Race and the Aboriginal problem of Australia is about white Australians in a cultural and political struggle with other white Australians. It is yet another agenda of the culture wars. The progressives are seen as, and see themselves as, sympathetic to the Aborigines and see their conservative opponents as bigoted and determined to hold onto the legacy of the country’s old racism.

And yet, as I will discuss later in my lectures, this dichotomy is not true.

My realisation after Goodes and his travails was that without sorting out that complex of matters falling under the rubric of ‘recognition’ we will forever think that what we call racism is at the heart of our problem as a nation rather than our not knowing who we are.

Of all the claims I will make in these lectures, this is the boldest and one of which I am most convicted: racism will diminish in this country when we succeed with recognition.

It will not have the same purchase on us: neither on the majority party that has resorted to it over two centuries, nor the minority that lives it, fears it and who too often succumb to the very fear itself.

The assumption of the doctrine of terra nullius – that Australia was not owned and was open to British settlement without consideration of the native owners – together with the racism that replaced the noble savage of [Captain] Cook’s Enlightenment, with an increasingly vicious view of the natives aimed at both justifying and enabling frontier violence and dispossession mutated into the pseudo-scientific racism of the Darwinian nineteenth and early twentieth century – combined to form the terrible ideology of the denial of recognition.

The Australian colonial project needed this denial and was underpinned by its vehemence until well after the frontiers fell silent.

After this, the Great Australian Silence just did not speak to this history. It was a denial which lasted for more than 150 years.

Stanner’s famous 1968 After the Dreaming lectures surveyed Australia’s historiography and made the observation:

… that inattention on such a scale cannot possibly be explained by absent-mindedness. It is a structural matter, a view from a window which has been carefully placed to exclude a whole quadrant of the landscape. What may well have begun as a simple forgetting of other possible views turned under habit and over time into something like a cult of forgetfulness practised on a national scale. We have been able for so long to disremember the Aborigines that we are now hard put to keep them in mind, even when we most want to do so.

A cult of forgetfulness on a national scale.

This is who we were until 1967.

Who we are

Let me now turn to who we are.

One of the peculiar realisations re-reading Stanner’s 1968 Boyer lectures is what little mention there is of the referendum held the year before.

There are two small references and, given the subject of the lectures, I wonder why. I had never noticed this before. The 1967 referendum was the most successful amendment to the Australian constitution since Federation, with 90 per cent of Australians voting yes.

It appears that for Stanner, the 1967 amendments did not amount to much.

One explanation might be that the amendments did not effect positive recognition or acknowledgement of Aboriginal people. The previous exclusion of Aboriginal people from the law-making power of theCommonwealth Parliament under section 51(26) – the race power – was deleted so that the parliament had power to legislate in respect of any race. And our exclusion from being counted in the census was also reversed.

The Australian Constitution had moved from negative exclusion to neutral silence.

But the 1967 referendum was not positive recognition. I expect this is the reason for Stanner’s lack of interest in it. Citizenship was necessary but not sufficient.

The half-century since 1967 broke the silence on Australian history and various reforms and improvements were made as a consequence of the exercise of legislative power of the Commonwealth Parliament.

Yet, the original failure of recognition was not remedied.

Let me point out what is incontrovertible: Australia doesn’t make sense without recognition. Until the First Peoples are afforded our rightful place, we are a nation missing its most vital heart.

The rift in our national soul becomes apparent each passing January. The old idea of an Australia that started on 26 January 1788 and that’s that, has frayed, and for a long time our political leaders haven’t known what to do.

The standard mode was to ignore the dissonance and all of the consequences that flow from the failure of recognition, for 11 months of the year, and then to panic in January about how we were going to deal with Australia Day.

Repudiation is the enemy of recognition.Australians are increasingly questioning the timing of Australia Day. (AAP: Darren England)none

In fighting against the repudiation of the country’s Indigenous heritage, no answer lies in the repudiation of its British heritage. They both endure for the memory and advantage of all Australians, even as we face the truths of our colonial past.

For our history is replete with shame and pride, failure and achievement, fear and love, cruelty and kindness, conflict and comity, mistake and brilliance, folly and glory.

We should never shy from any side of the truth. Our Australian storylines entwine further each generation and we should ever strive to leave our country better for our children.

Who we can be

Let me lay out what lies on the horizon and who we can be.

Voice to Parliament ‘not a project of identity politics’First Nations lawyer, academic and land rights activist Noel Pearson has given the first of four lectures to be broadcast by the ABC.Read more

A ‘yes’ vote in the Voice referendum will guarantee that Indigenous peoples will always have a say in laws and policies made about us. It will afford our people our rightful place in the constitutional compact. This constitutional partnership will empower us to work together towards better policies and practical outcomes for Indigenous communities.

Mutual recognition will enable us to acknowledge three stories: the Ancient Indigenous heritage which is Australia’s foundation, the British institutions built upon it, and the adorning gift of multicultural migration.

The first story of our Ancient Indigenous Heritage is best described in the Uluru Statement:

Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the First Nations of the Australian continent and its islands, possessed under ancient laws and customs, according to the reckoning of culture, from the Creation, according to the common law, from time immemorial, and according to science for more than 60,000 years ago.

This is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or mother nature, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with their ancestors.

– Megan Davis

A spiritual notion, the ancestral tie between the land or mother nature, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born there from.

The second story of our British institutions that were built upon it recognises that those who sailed the First Fleet landing at Sydney Cove carried upon their shoulders the common law of England, when the sovereignty of the British Crown was proclaimed.

The rule of law, parliamentary government and the Australian English language have their provenance in Britain.

From eyes on board ship, this was a settlement, and from eyes on shore, an invasion. The eve of the 25th and the dawn of the 26th January 1788 is when Ancient Australia became the New Australia.

The Britons and Irish – convict and free – who founded this institutional heritage, made the Commonwealth from 1901, a great democracy of the globe.Australia’s multiculturalism is a huge benefit to our society. (ABC News: Tim Swanston)none

The third story is the gift of multicultural migration and [it] recognises that peoples from the earth over brought their multitude of cultural gifts to Australia. That we celebrate diversity in unity makes us a beacon to the world. When we renounced the White Australia policy, we made a better Commonwealth.

In Robert Hughes’ incomparable words, we showed that people with different roots can live together, that we can learn to read the image-bank of others, that we can look across the frontiers of our differences without prejudice or illusion.

These three stories will make us one: Australians.

Constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians is not a project of identity politics, it is Australia’s longest standing and unresolved project for justice, unity and inclusion.

Let me finish with a thought experiment.

Easter Saturday 1891, the leading lights of the six colonies have come together to draw up the constitution on the paddle steamer, Lucinda, anchored on the western foreshores of Pittwater in Sydney’s north.

They are to spend “a mammoth 13-hour session” drafting the constitution of the proposed Commonwealth of Australia.

The Constitutional Committee is hosted by Sir Samuel Griffith, Premier of Queensland and later first Chief Justice of the High Court.

Edmund Barton, later the nation’s first Prime Minister, is there, as is Charles Kingston, future Premier of South Australia.

Sir John Downer is there for some time with other founding fathers of the new nation, once described by Professor Langton – with great affection, of course – as a collection of beards, moustaches and whiskers protruding from venerable ears, noses and eyebrows. The core of the Australian Constitution is drafted here. The work done over that Easter weekend is decisive in the constitutional history of the nation.Government representatives including Australia’s first prime minister Edmund Barton drafted an early version of the constitution on board the steam yacht The Lucinda.(Queensland Maritime Museum)none

Imagine the committee on board the Lucinda is made aware of a gathering of ambassadors representing tribes from all compass points of Ancient Australia: north, south, east and west.

At the invitation of the Eora peoples, they have come to make representations to those drafting the constitution of the new Commonwealth. Their people have suffered great depredations in the past 100 years of frontier conflict and dispossession – their numbers are now much diminished and many tribes are near driven off the face of the earth.

If these representations included the constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through a Voice to the Parliament and executive government in order to create a dialogue between the old and new Australians in respect of the country’s heritage and its future – what would those on board the Lucinda respond with the benefit of our hindsight today?

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