苏州吴江区美甲培训

苏州美甲美睫培训学校

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Stan Grant said a treaty could occur in a unifying way, as it had in New Zealand. Photo: Elesa Kurtz Stan Grant said recognition with a treaty would help fill the “hole” he feels where his country should be. Photo: Rohan Thomson
苏州美甲美睫培训学校

Prominent Indigenous journalist Stan Grant has used Constitution Day to push for a treaty with the first Australians, saying it could end the tensions of torn allegiances.

Speaking at the National Archives of Australia on Saturday, Grant said the tension was obvious when he held one of the original copies of the Constitution this week and thought about the nearby petition of the Northern Territory Larrakia people which asked for a treaty like the maoris had been given in New Zealand.

“When I held that Constitution I felt great reverence, but when I looked upon the Larrakia petition, I felt that I belonged,” he said. “There is a hole in me where my country should be.”

Grant is a member of the Referendum Council, a government body looking into how best to recognise Indigenous Australians through a change to the Constitution.

His calls came as Cape York Institute constitutional researcher Shireen Morris said a referendum should create an Indigenous advisory body which the federal government would have to consult before actions such as the Howard-era Intervention.

Ms Morris, an Australian-born lawyer with Indian background, said Australia’s first people had been given less of a fair go than migrant Indians and they continued to feel discriminated against.

Her proposed advisory body – which, unlike past representative commissions, would be constitutionally protected – would guarantee Indigenous Australians had a say when laws were made about them. It would have no legal power but put a high degree of moral and public pressure on governments to deliver better laws, she said. She also backed the call for a treaty.

Grant said treaties were simply agreements, and there were already 17,000 agreements in place between Indigenous peoples and the multiple layers of government and business.

“[A treaty] would give us certainty, peace, and for me it will mean that the tension I feel as an Indigenous person in Australia would potentially be laid to rest, the tension between the torn allegiance, first, to who I am and my people, and to my country that we still struggle when it comes to the acknowledgment of our rights,” he said.

Constitution Day is marked on July 9, the day in 1900 when Queen Victoria signed her assent to the act that created the Commonwealth of Australia. The Larrakia petition was handed to Queen Elizabeth II in 1972.

Grant, a former CNN reporter, now hosts SBS’s National Indigenous TV (NITV) channel.

His speech where he declared racism was “killing the Australian dream” went viral on social media earlier this year.

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