The “Platform Conversation” at the National Museum of Australia

The “Platform Conversation” at the National Museum of Australia about
Constitutional Recognition was an excellent event, I learned a great deal. However, I
don’t understand why the inclusion of a Pre-amble acknowledging Aboriginal &
Torres Strait People is so difficult. The Australian Constitution is a British construct
and like the Apology to the “stolen generation” it is not up to Aboriginal & Torres
Strait Islander People to make such an acknowledgment. However the burden it
would seem, has been put onto Aboriginal & Torres Strait People to do so.
Our People, like the Bumiputra (son of the soil) People of Malaysia, are “of the land”,
that would be a great place to start. In the Walgalu language of my People, “Mittong”
is the essence of ALL we are..our “mittong”; - Our spirit, people, ancestry, flora,
fauna, earth, soil, water, sky.. No doubt other languages have a word with similar
meaning. We use the word to celebrate Country e.g. Ngambri “mittong”; or as a
collective noun meaning “one”!
If the Platform Conversation is a reflection of the panel, it’s any wonder wording the
preamble is a struggle. Their entire focus is People and omits the essence of our being
“of the land”. Left to People alone, there will always be struggle, the recipe doesn’t
work without all the ingredients.
Consider the possibility of acknowledging ALL our being in the Preamble to the
Constitution with the inclusion of the word “mittong” e.g.
The Constitution of Australia acknowledges the “mittong” of this country, the oldest
living culture known to man..
My thoughts!
Ngambri Aboriginal Elder
Shane Mortimer
Chairman – The AARK
Ag-Arts Residency Kenmore Limited
A not-for-profit Aboriginal owned unlisted public company focused on quality
outcomes for Aboriginal people in Indigenous Agriculture & the Arts