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Uluru statement offers up different set of priorities

OPINION: Professor George Williams AO, The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 May 2017.

The Uluru statement is a landmark moment in the reshaping of our system of government to reflect the aspirations of Australia's first peoples. It is the first time in over a decade of discussion about constitutional recognition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have had the opportunity to speak with one voice. Their claims have come late in the debate, but must be accorded great weight and respect.

Australian refugee policy: Twists in the tale

OPINION: Dr Claire Higgins, The Interpreter, 25 May 2017.

Two Coalition MPs join Tim Watts in call for more private sponsorship of refugees

Professor Jane McAdam speaks to The Guardian (23 May 2017) regarding Labor MP, Tim Watts gaining support in his bid to increase private sponsorship of refugees.

Professor Jane McAdam, said the proposal was welcomed, “because it will enable more refugees to find protection in Australia, simultaneously stimulating the economy, schools and resources in rural areas”.

Digital media experts call for greater Facebook transparency

David Vaile speaks to ABC PM Radio (22 May 2017) regarding the recent leak of Facebook's guidelines outlining the social media network's guidelines for content monitoring.

Jakarta governor Ahok withdraws appeal against blasphemy jail sentence

Dr Melissa Crouch speaks to The Sydney Morning Herald (23 May 2017) regarding the sentencing of Jakarter Governor and the retraction of his appeal against the charges.

Dr Crouch explains that Ahok's case illustrates many of the challenges that are currently occuring in Indonesia.

She said, "His case is not just a battle between Islamists and the secular state, but also between rival legal institutions." 

Explainer: why 300 Indigenous leaders are meeting at Uluru this week

OPINION: Harry Hobbs, The Conversation, 23 May 2017

Around 300 Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders will gather from today at Uluru to hold a First Nations Convention. Running over four days, the meeting is the culmination of 12 regional dialogues held across the country on the constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.

Lessons of 1967 referendum still apply to debates on constitutional recognition

OPINION: Associate Professor Gabrielle Appleby and Gemma McKinnon, The Conversation, 22 May 2017.

Saturday, May 27, marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum. As the date approaches, many are reflecting on a moment that is recalled as one of the great “successes” in the advancement of Indigenous Australians.

We desperately need a genuine plan for federal reform

OPINION: Professor George Williams AO, the Sydney Morning Herald, 21 May 2017.

If there is one thing our politicians agree on, it is that Australia's federal system is broken. A long succession of state and federal leaders have made this point, including most recently NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who says the Commonwealth "needs a massive overhaul". She wants "an honest conversation about our federation" and a new system that encourages states to pursue reform.

Myanmar failing to stop spread of religious violence, UN envoy says

Dr Melissa Crouch speaks to The Guardian (19 May 2017) regarding the current state of Myanmar and it's escalated religious intolerance following the recent setencing of Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama.

Melissa Crouch discussed an “intimidation campaign” that is currently under way in Yangon, saying that Nationalist protests have in the past shut down religious events.

The long road to recognition

OPINION: Associate Professor Gabrielle Appleby and Associate Professor Sean Brennan, Inside Story, 19 May 2017.

First Nations have reclaimed the recognition process in the lead-up to a landmark gathering at Uluru this month.