The 1967 Referendum

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On 27 May 1967 a remarkable event occurred: An overwhelming majority of electors voted in a national referendum to amend clauses of the Australian Constitution concerning Aboriginal people.

Today it is commonly regarded as a turning point in the history of relations between Indigenous and white Australians: a historic moment when people voted for the Australian government to count Aboriginal people in the census and make laws for (and against) them.

The 1967 Referendum explores the legal and political significance of the referendum and the long struggle by black and white Australians for constitutional change. It traces the emergence of a series of powerful narratives about the Australian Constitution and the status of Aboriginal people, revealing how and why the referendum campaign acquired so much significance and has since become the subject of highly charged myth in contemporary Australia.

Attwood and Markus' text is complemented by personal recollections and opinions about the referendum by a range of Indigenous people, and historical documents and illustrations.

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Cite this page

Korff, J 2018, The 1967 Referendum, <>, retrieved 16 July 2024

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