Constitutional recognition on the agenda

Wednesday, 09 Nov 2016

APRA AMCOS has joined forces with RECOGNISE, the campaign calling for recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Australian Constitution.

In July, a new role was created at APRA AMCOS specifically to raise aware of constitutional change among the music industry. Danielle Tuwai (pictured) was appointed Project Manager for the RECOGNISE Campaign, and is designing and leading a program of engagement for artists and the industry.

“As an Indigenous woman of Aotearoa and the South Pacific living in Gadigal Country, it is important for me to be involved with processes, no matter how complex, that raise diverse conversation towards respectfully acknowledging the first people of this land,” she says.

“Through this, I hope that paths can be forged to create long overdue change towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander empowerment and in doing so enrich the broader community.

“Because of my own heritage I am aware of the impact colonialism has had upon Indigenous nations. In this role, I am able to contribute constructively towards Aboriginal recognition within Australia.”

Before joining APRA AMCOS, Danielle worked as the Arts Development and Events Coordinator at Gadigal Information Service and was host of Artbeat on Koori Radio. She also founded the successful Redfern Night Markets, and has been singing for 20 years in bands that advocate for social change including 2indij, South West Syndicate, The Carl Stewart Band and The Renegades of Munk.

Danielle will be working to ensure musicians and the music industry have a good understanding of constitutional recognition – both opposition and support – ahead of a formal referendum process.

“At the moment Australia’s highest legal document does not mention the 50,000 plus years of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ custodianship of this land, and still has sections that allow for racial discrimination,” says Danielle. 

“We are encouraging all Australians to join the conversation.”

The Journey to Recognition at Garma, 2013

Danielle says there are many ways to support the RECOGNISE campaign:

  • Sign up as a supporter and help continue to build this movement. We need to be able to reach you with updates so you can help at crucial moments as we head towards referendum day.
  • Give RECOGNISE a shout out at your gigs, Wear the R on a badge or t-shirt to spark conversations about recognition.
  • Host, participate in or attend a panel event.
  • Request a briefing which can be arranged with the RECOGNISE Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander team.
  • Add RECOGNISE branding to your tour vehicles – we can organise the decals.
  • Become a partner and include information on your website or other promotional material.
  • Add your voice to the RECOGNISE movement on social media: FacebookTwitter and Instagram.
  • Attend or organise events in your local area or set up a local RECOGNISE group
  • Write to your local papers on the importance of recognition or ask them to cover a local event that you are organising by doing a story in advance to let others know so they can come along and get involved.”

If you’d like to know more or want to get involved with RECOGNISE, get in touch with Danielle Tuwai:

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