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Date posted: 8 November 2010
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced that the Federal Government will set up an independent panel of experts to advise on the best way to recognise Indigenous Australians in the constitution. The expert panel will include Indigenous and community leaders, constitutional experts, and parliamentary members. It will lead a national discussion and broad consultation during 2011 to help develop a national consensus on the recognition of Indigenous people in the Constitution. It is the stated intent of the Gillard Government to use this panel to enable the issue of Indigenous recognition in the constitution to be put to a referendum during the current term of Government or at the next Federal election. The panel will report to the Government by the end of 2011 on the best path towards the referendum.