Changing the constitution requires the majority of Australian people across the country, as well as the majority in most states to vote "yes" in a referendum, a notoriously difficult task. Since Federation in 1901, only eight of 44 proposals for constitutional change have been approved.
The last rejection came in 1999, when the country's citizens were asked if they wanted to replace the Queen and Governor-General with a President.
Back then, campaigning focused on cutting ties with an archaic monarchy and moving forward as a bold new multicultural nation intent on forging its own path. Indigenous issues weren't high on the agenda, though Australians were asked a second question, to approve a new preamble to the constitution that honored First Nations people for their "kinship with their lands." That failed too, with Aboriginal elders of the day complaining they hadn't been consulted on the wording.
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