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April 23, 2021

Indigenous leaders to meet with PM

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Specific Aboriginal community meetings on constitutional recognition might be a step closer to reality with four indigenous leaders due to meet Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Noel Pearson, Patrick Dodson, Megan Davis and Kirstie Parker will meet with Mr Abbott on Thursday.

They want the federal government to fund special indigenous consultations on how to recognise Aboriginal people in Australia’s founding document but Mr Abbott has so far denied that request.

Greens senator Rachel Siewert wrote to Mr Abbott urging him to reconsider his position.

‘For a referendum on constitutional recognition to be successful it must have the support of (indigenous people) and this is why these conventions are imperative,’ she said in a statement.

Mr Dodson said he had limited expectations heading into the meeting.

‘It’s going to be a tough gig,’ he told ABC Radio.

The prime minister had a clear view about how things ought to proceed, the leaders and the communities had a different stance and they had to find some common ground.

Mr Dodson said conventions were needed in indigenous communities in order to help achieve consensus on complex issues.


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