Quarterly Essay 55 A Rightful Place

Quarterly Essay 55 A Rightful Place

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The nation has unfinished business. After more than two centuries, can a rightful place be found for Australiaa€™s original peoples? Soon we will all decide if and how indigenous Australians will be recognised in the constitution. In the words of Professor Greg Craven: a€œWe have a committed prime minister, and a committed opposition. We have a receptive electorate. There will never be a better time. We have no choice but to address the question. If constitutions deal with fundamental things, our indigenous heritage is pretty fundamental.a€ In A Rightful Place, Noel Pearson shows how the idea of a€œracea€ was embedded in the constitution, and the distorting effect this has had. Now there is a chance to change it a€“ if we can agree on a way forward. Pearson shows what constitutional recognition means, and what it could make possible: true equality and a renewed appreciation of an ancient culture. This is a wide-ranging, eloquent call for justice, an essay of remarkable power that traverses history and culture to make the case for change. a€œAs long as we have a constitution that characterises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the basis of race, it will always have deleterious implications for their citizenship. It must be removed a€b This is not just a matter of symbolism. I think this will be a matter of psychology. The day we come to regard ourselves as people with a distinct heritage, with distinct cultures and languages but not of a distinct race, will be a day of psychological liberation. And it will also be liberating for those in the wider community a€ba€ Noel Pearson, A Rightful Placeknows that Australian unemployment rose by a fraction of that in comparable countries. Australia and the United States began the crisis with similar levels of unemployment and yet unemployment in the United States peaked at almost twiceanbsp;...

Title:Quarterly Essay 55 A Rightful Place
Author:Noel Pearson
Publisher:Black Inc. - 2014-09-11


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