This video is an exert taken from a Recognition Debate between the Government funded Recognise Campaign and the opposing voice of Alice Haines at Macquarie University in Sydney May 2016.
Presenter: Alice Haines
Thank you very much. I would just like to thank the Macquarie University and the team of people who have invited me here today to participate and sharing my personal concerns in regards to the recognise campaign as well as the coming referendum.
Now I am wearing a Vote No to Constitutional Change T-shirt. Now the R shirts are sponsored and paid for by the Government costing hundreds of millions of dollars of tax payers money. Hundreds of millions of dollars go into the recognise voice and here us blackfella’s on the ground floor, around the country are not funded by the Government and we are not supported and we are quite often gagged.
This opportunity to speak today is quite and an honour but in regards to the R… I'm not sure if people understand where the 'R' comes from but way back in the slavery days.
Recognise is a British Law and in the Black Laws dictionary Recognise means to enter into recognizance. Now back in the day when they had the African Americans umm the Africans taken over to America. They were given to their slave masters and when they tried to escape, they would actually incarcerate them and get a hot iron and brand them with 'R' on their backs and sometimes even on their foreheads, now then they were recognised.
Now Recognised is a binding legislation it can never be undone. Every slave that was taken into slavery who went to court with their lawyers to undo the recognizance, it never was successful on one occasion, because it is a binding law. It can never be undone.
So the concern that I have in regards to using ‘recognise’, that we are embedded to the Australian Constitution - without human rights attached - without cultural rights attached it binds it in to never be undone later in the future. It cannot be adjusted and the other concern is: If we are ‘foreign’ to the system which we are. We are not British Subjects by the way. The Australian Constitution applies only to British Subjects. There is also a law precedence in the 1800’s that only British subjects can be subject to the law. So if we are bound into the constitution we are bypassing a Treaty process.
They idea of Section 51 (26) was targeted for our people in the 1967 Referendum. Now out of all the referendums that have existed in Australia the 1967 Referendum and the Recognise Referendum are the only 2 referendums that they did not fund a ‘no’ voice. They only funded a ‘yes’ voice. The actual legislation requires that the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ voice be funded and so far we see hundreds of millions of dollars get thrown at ‘Recognise’ and yet we are not funded.
In actual fact the final bill and the final wording for the constitutional amendments has not been released yet hundreds of millions of dollars are convincing people to say yes on something that we don’t know what the final wording is and that is totally unacceptable. It is also cheating the Referendum Machinery (provisions) Act. Also in 2015 last year in the Referendum Machinery (provisions) Act they had actually stated that the yes and no voice needed to be funded to the extent of pamphlets only. They actually went into the senate and repealed that part of the legislation to allow themselves to keep injecting millions of dollars and give no support to the ‘no’ voice.
These are the activities the Government do behind our back. Constantly go into the Constitution and amend it and amend it. Every time they go into the Constitution and amend the Legislations we find that our voice has been taken away. Rights to land has been dismantled. Our land Acquisition has automatically slid across to the Australian Government Commonwealth. Where there was once a relationship with the States to Aboriginal People and now all of a sudden we got the Commonwealth getting their hands on our lands via deceptive pathways. They go into Aboriginal Communities where there is freehold land. Get mob to sign on to fix up their houses and they have signed over the land acquisition to the Commonwealth and these are the deceptive pathways the Legislations are doing for us. For us in the state of affairs that we are in the moment to embed ourselves into the Constitution is very unsafe for Aboriginal People.
We don’t have equality in this country. One concern is we don’t have cultural rights Legislations. We have copyright laws and intellectual property laws and we are not entitled to the full benefit of copyright and Intellectual Property. Because the Government refuses to acknowledge our communal rights. So therefore if I was to do a historic book on my Grandmother and her cultural relations to country I can’t receive intellectual property or copyright because it is not recognised legislatively. But with all the proposals that recognise is coming forward they have not even addressed the inequality of that issue. They want to bind us in the Australian Constitution without addressing the ineffectual property inequality and its totally unacceptable not to have Cultural Rights.
This is our country we never sold our lands we never ceded our sovereignty and we demand to have our cultural rights enshrined into this county and that needs to be recognised and our sovereign rights and our self determination. Anything short of that is a cheat.
With the polls going on around the country the majority of our Aboriginal people are in support of the 'No' voice. Most actually want a Treaty.
As the first speaker said that the Australian Government do not hold sufficient power to treaty. The reason why the Australian Government don't have the power to Treaty properly they actually don’t have an adequate Sovereignty. Their Constitution is a British Act of Parliament, its part of British Law. The preamble to the Constitution sits in London, it doesn’t exist in Australia.
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