Reconciliation, Peacebuilding and Indigenous Peoples in Australia

  • Andrew GunstoneEmail author
Part of the The Anthropocene: Politik—Economics—Society—Science book series (APESS, volume 9)


The Australian Constitution that ‘created’ Australia as a nation in 1901, prevented the new Australian Commonwealth government from legislating on Indigenous Affairs, a power the Constitution reserved for the lower tier of State governments. In 1967, an Australian Constitutional Referendum was passed, that granted, for the first time power to the Australian Commonwealth governments to legislate on Indigenous Affairs. This chapter examines almost fifty years of Commonwealth government involvement in Indigenous Affairs. Specifically, the chapter examines Commonwealth government involvement in Indigenous rights, including self-determination, land rights and native title. The chapter argues that, overwhelmingly, the Commonwealth governments have failed to genuinely acknowledge and recognise these rights.


Aboriginal Australian governments Indigenous Affairs Indigenous rights National Aboriginal Conference Policies Self-determination 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swinburne UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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