Media release: Wednesday, 6 July 2016
With the Australian democratic system high on people's minds at present, the National Archives has asked two prominent Australians to give their views in a special Speakers' Forum to mark Constitution Day this Saturday.
Stan Grant and Shireen Morris will celebrate Australia's Constitution as they discuss the timely question: 'Indigenous recognition and Australia's identity – why is it important?'
Mr Grant, a Wiradjuri man from Griffith, New South Wales, is Indigenous Affairs Editor for The Guardian Australia, host of NITV's The Point and a member of the Referendum Council.
Ms Morris is the Constitutional Reform Research Fellow at Cape York Institute and is researching constitutional reform, racial discrimination, native title, family violence and child reunification in Indigenous communities as part of a PhD.
ABC Radio National's Paul Barclay will moderate the discussion at the National Archives, which will be live streamed. Local Ngambri custodian Paul House will also be at the event, giving a welcome to country.
The Australian Constitution, passed by the British Parliament, became law on 9 July 1900 when Queen Victoria signed the Royal Commission of Assent. Both documents are stored by the National Archives in carefully controlled environmental conditions. To mark Constitution Day, these national treasures will be on display this Saturday.
The National Archives is also offering a family fun day on 9 July, with a Constitution flavour (11am to 4pm). Young Australians can complete a discovery trail and collect a Constitution cupcake. They can hear the story of the Larrakia petition, try calligraphy, enjoy Indigenous face-painting, performances and storytelling, and make their own Constitution Day badge. Queen Victoria and her lady-in-waiting will be on hand (11am to 3pm) to help tell the story of the pivotal documents.
A full program of events is available at naa.gov.au. The live stream link will be posted on the day.