0428 GMT May 20, 2019
The survey of 1,722 people, which was published on Saturday, indicated that 63 percent of voters support a change to the constitution to recognize indigenous Australians, while 19 percent oppose the move and 18 percent are uncommitted, Press TV reported.
The poll conducted by Newspoll for the Weekend Australian newspaper, also found that backing for the constitutional change is strongest among Greens and Labor voters.
The study was published ahead of a meeting in Sydney due on July 6 between Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and indigenous leaders to discuss the best model to pursue at a referendum for the constitutional change slated for 2017.
The Australian premier said on Friday that the upcoming meeting would examine “how far we can go [to] properly acknowledge indigenous people in the Constitution and in our national life while at the same time unifying our country, because constitutional recognition of indigenous people needs to be a unifying moment for our country, not a divisive one”.
In a separate development last week, Tanya Hosch, the head of the RECOGNISE campaign, which is the people’s movement to recognize Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian constitution, said that a model has to be decided by the end of 2015 to secure a Yes vote in the 2017 referendum.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have fought over the past years to have their rights recognized in the Australian constitution, which can only be changed by a referendum.
Indigenous communities, who are considered the most disadvantaged in Australia, have lived in the country for at least 40,000 years.The Aboriginals are believed to have numbered around one million at the time of British settlement in 1788, but now they make up 470,000 out of the country’s total population of 23 million.