Allens Arthur Robinson will tomorrow (17 November) host a discussion on the prospect of a referendum on constitutional recognition of Australia's first people.
The discussion, entitled Indigenous Australians and the Constitution: Recognition, Rights and Reconciliation, will address the legal and policy issues involved in constitutional amendment and follows the Federal Government's commitment to hold a national referendum on the issue during the current term of government or at the next federal election.
Featuring as panellists at tomorrow's discussion are George Williams, scientia professor and foundation director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at UNSW's faculty of law; Graham Bradley AM, president of the Business Council of Australia and member of the government-appointed panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians; Dr Mark McMillan, a Wiradjuri man from Trangie and senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne Law School; as well as April Long, the 2011 recipient of the Indigenous Law Student of the Year Award and editor of the Indigenous Law Bulletin.
The discussion will be moderated by Wollongong University's dean of law Luke McNamara.
In December 2010, a panel was established to consult with Australians and suggest options on how to progress constitutional amendment to achieve this recognition. Next month the panel's findings and recommendations will be released.
Allens joins a number of other Australian law firms which have pledged their support for reconciliation by establishing and implementing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), including Clayton Utz which launched its RAP in March last year and Arnold Bloch Leibler and Gilbert + Tobin, which each launched an RAP in 2008.
See next week's issue of Lawyers Weekly for extended coverage of the Allens' panel discussion.