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A Significant Date: 1967 Referendum – 50 Years On

Past Event

Thursday, 25 May 2017 - 6pm to 7pm

The 1967 federal referendum was a significant moment in Australia’s political history. Over 90 per cent of Australians voted ‘Yes’ to counting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the census and giving the Australian Government the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Join ABC RN’s Daniel Browning as he leads a panel discussion with  Larissa Behrendt, Luke Pearson and Nancia Guivarra on the impact of the referendum and whether changes to the Australian Constitution reduced discrimination against Indigenous people in Australia.


head shot of Larissa BehrendtProf. Larissa Behrendt is the Professor of Indigenous Research and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is a regular columnist for The Guardian.

She has published numerous textbooks on Indigenous legal issues. She is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and a founding member of the Australian Academy of Law. Her most recent book is Indigenous Australia for Dummies. Larissa wrote and directed the feature film, Innocence Betrayed and has written and produced several short films.

Larissa won the 2002 David Uniapon Award and a 2005 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for her novel Home. Her second novel, Legacy, won a Victorian Premiers Literary Award. Larissa is Chair of the Bangarra Dance Theatre and a board member of NSW Museums and Galleries.

She is the Ambassador of the Guwara Aboriginal Campus at St. Andrew’s Cathedral School in Sydney and a board member of the Sydney Story Factory, a literacy program in Redfern. She was awarded the 2009 NAIDOC Person of the Year award and 2011 NSW Australian of the Year.


image of Luke Pearson sitting in a chairLuke Pearson is a Gamilaroi man, who founded @IndigenousX in 2012. Luke left his professional career as a primary school teacher in 2008, but continued to take an interest in education and advocacy both professionally and voluntarily. Throughout his various involvements Luke has been a teacher, mentor, counsellor, public speaker, collaborator, mediator, facilitator, events manager, researcher, evaluator, reporter and much more.



head shot of Nancia GuivarraNancia Guivarra is a Meriam (Magaram), Wuthathi and Bindal Juru woman who was born in Brisbane and raised in Gladstone, Qld.  Nancia is the Head of Communications at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Movement Studies from the University of Queensland (1988) and a Graduate Diploma of Arts (Journalism) from the University of Technology Sydney (2005).  Nancia lectures at various universities on media, culture and Indigenous food science.

Nancia worked for 10 years with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in radio, television and online in roles as online editor for the Indigenous gateway, writer and director for Message Stick TV and as a presenter and producer on Radio National's Indigenous arts and culture program AWAYE! She was a journalist and presenter on NITV.

She has worked in federal government departments, the Aboriginal Development Commission, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, ATSIC and Aboriginal Hostels Limited and has run her own freelance company Amneris Pty Ltd.

Nancia is a lifetime member of the Gadigal Information Service Aboriginal Corporation (93.7FM Koori Radio) and implemented its full time community radio licence in 2002/03. She was the  inaugural Chair of the Australian Indigenous Communications Association. 


head shot of Daniel Browning Daniel Browning is an ABC journalist and radio broadcaster, and is from the Bundjalung and Kullilli peoples of northern New South Wales and south-western Queensland. A trained artist and freelance arts writer, Daniel produces and presents RN’s Indigenous art and culture program, Awaye! and has guest-edited the contemporary arts journal Artlink.


Sydney Writers Festival text logo with red, orange and yellow speech marks

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