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Australia to hold referendum on acknowledging Aborigines

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gilliard said on Monday that Australia would hold a referendum within the next three years over whether to change its constitution to recognise Aborigines as the first Australians. "The first people of our nation have a unique and special place [in Australia]," she said. The last time a referendum concerning the status of Aborigines was held was in 1967, when Australians voted that they be counted as part of the population. Times have certainly changed since then, although Aborigines still experience disproportionately high rates of disease, imprisonment and unemployment compared with the general Australian population. Read more: AP, via The Guardian; Sapa-AFP, via Times Live

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