reconciliation and constitutional reform

The Sydney Morning Herald reported recently that "Sydney Aborigines have finally buried 14 ancestors whose remains were stolen in the name of science during the earliest years of European settlement" [ A stolen generation comes home, 4 March 2005].

The report quotes a trainee Aboriginal sites officer as suggesting that "only men could work on the preparation of the male remains and female trainees on the women and girls."

Women's business and men's business is the organisational and administrative basis of indigenous culture in Australia and across the world in contrast with cycles comprising phases of patriarchy, women's emancipation and collapse peculiar to non-indigenous communities which for the most part deliver endemic disadvantage to women.

The imposition of mixed-up women's and men's business devastates indigenous communities as with the collapse of a wish for self-sufficiency "hailed as the greatest deal in the history of the land rights movement, one that would set a new model for Aboriginal self-determination in the 21st century" [$42 million land rights dream in ruins, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 March 2005], devastated by community bickering outside tradition decision-making.

Indigenous culture is effectively outlawed with the imposition of mixed-up women's and men's business.

Proposals to recognise indigenous peoples as unique with a special place in Australian history and society or to secure protection of rights which are now recognised, for example, native title, or rights which may be recognised or negotiated in coming years, as contained in a report entitled Indigenous Aspirations for Constitutional Law Reform, a document without mention of women's business and men's business, or to include dedicated indigenous seats in Parliament, reinforce the imposition of the irrational, mixed-up women's and men's approach to decision making.

Reconciliation can ultimately be achieved with a republic comprising women's and men's legislatures presided over by an executive of elders accompanied by courts of women's and men's jurisdiction.