The Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI) organised a petition calling for a referendum on sections 51 and 127 of the Constitution – these sections meant that mob were not recognised as part of the Australian population and that the states were in charge of policy making for our community. 

In response to this petition the Holt Government introduced the Constitution Alteration (Aboriginals) Bill 1967 to the Parliament. The legislation was passed unanimously and finally a referendum was announced.

On the 27th May 1967, the people of Australia cast their votes for the referendum. The vote was overwhelmingly in favour of changing the constitution with 90.77 per cent of voters responding with a YES. Each state also had a majority YES vote as well and this led to it being one of the most successful national campaigns in Australia’s history.

You can read more about the referendum here.

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Image: 'Yes' Campaign Poster (AIATSIS).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material. To listen to our Acknowledgement of Country, click here.