The Federal Government has announced $10 million in funding to build public awareness and community support for constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.


Prime Minister Julia Gillard described the move to recognition of indigenous peoples in the constitution as a ‘significant step towards recognising the unique and special places of our first peoples’.

“This important work will be led by Reconciliation Australia, supported by a reference group of business and community groups, the Australian Human Rights Commission and the National Congress of Australia’s First People and members of the Expert Panel,” Ms Gillard said.


In announcing the funding, Ms Gillard cited the progress in the Closing the Gap report, including:


  • We are on track to meet the under-five mortality target with a continued decline in mortality rates for Indigenous children — falling by 48 per cent from 1991 to 2010 across the three jurisdictions in which long-term comparison is possible (Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory). 
  • Overall Indigenous mortality rates have declined by 36 per cent from 1991 to 2010 in the three jurisdictions for which reliable data are available for this period (Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory).
  •  Indigenous children are doing better at school including strong improvements in National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) results for Indigenous students. In seven of the eight areas in which we can assess progress at the national level, the gap with non-Indigenous students narrowed from 2008 to 2011.