(and a proposed Constitutional Preamble reflecting decisions taken at the Constitutional Convention in 1998)

Before the people of Australia was the land
And the land was the Dreaming

And we the indigenous people known as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders came to the land and it possessed us as its ancient power possesses all who live here

And we, the men and women who came after, acknowledge our debt to the first inhabitants for teaching us that we do not, in spirit, own the land but are owned by it and that we share with the indigenous Australians a responsibility for its care and conservation which we hereby pledge ourselves to observe

Together we declare that Australians are people of many races from around the world, that we celebrate our diversity and welcome all those who are prepared to live in peace and harmony with us, respecting the values of tolerance and equality and a "fair go" for all, without discrimination against any person on the grounds of race, religion, sex or sexual orientation, age or disability

In honouring the tradition of mateship forged by Australians in peace and war, we hold it self-evident that the weak should be nurtured by the strong and the development of our community should strive to balance reward for individual effort with benefit for all.

We value achievement in the arts and sciences, in business and in sport and aspire to excellence in all our endeavours be they physical, spiritual, mental or intellectual, scientific or cultural.

Recognising the constitutional legacy derived from Great Britain through the successful establishment of a democratic nation in this continent, we recommit ourselves to the principle of one vote for each adult citizen and hereby assert that the rule of law and equal civil, legal and political rights and responsibilities are fundamental to Australian society

And we the citizens of Australia, humbly relying on Almighty God, are united in one indissoluble federal Commonwealth which derives its power and value from our consent to such unity and from these fundamental beliefs that we share

© Babette Smith 1998