'So much at stake: Forging a treaty with authority and respect' by Sarah Maddison and Dale Wandin

by
August 2019, no. 413

'So much at stake: Forging a treaty with authority and respect' by Sarah Maddison and Dale Wandin

by
August 2019, no. 413

Australia remains alone among the settler colonies for its lack of treaties with First Nations. This is despite the fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia have been calling for a treaty for decades – since at least the 1970s and then more forcefully during the Treaty ’88 Campaign. When Bob Hawke received the Barunga Statement in 1988 and committed the nation to a treaty, it seemed the battle was won. Two years later, Hawke reneged on his promise and instead gave us ten years of reconciliation, intended to prepare non-Indigenous Australians to negotiate more just relationships. Even that was not to be. By the end of the decade of reconciliation, John Howard had derailed the process and ‘treaty’ had become a political dirty word.

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