Djarragun College dancers performed when the relay reached Cairns.

Joy as relay races towards recognition

Martha Tattersall

The Journey to Recognition has travelled more than 18,000km so far to build awareness and support for recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution — and ensuring there is no place for racial discrimination in our highest law.

The Recognition relay has visited more than 130 communities and involved more than 10,500 Australians and will make it to NSW in 2015. It started in Melbourne on May 27, 2013 and will continue its travels around Australia until the day a referendum is held to change the Constitution.

Federation is a proud supporter of Recognise, the people’s movement to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution, and encourages teachers and students to follow the movement. You can read blogs from participants and keep up to date as the Journey weaves its way across the country.

The first cultures of Australia — the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures of this land — are central to our national identity, our sense of who we are and where we have come from. The ingenuity, resourcefulness and resilience of our first peoples meant survival and adaptation through the last ice age on this continent.

And yet the people who have kept alive the oldest continuing cultures on the planet are not recognised in our nation’s founding document. And our Constitution still contains sections that allow for racial discrimination — like the sentence that still says the States could ban a whole race of people from voting.

Every Australian can help bring about this important moment for our country — a day when the nation goes to a Referendum to vote to right a historical wrong, and a forge a future together based on respect and honesty.

Every student, teacher and school has a role to play.

Join more than 211,500 Australians and sign up at

Martha Tattersall is the media manager at Recognise.