Journey to Recognition stops in Port Augusta

An organisation that looks to promote the recognition of Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islanders in the Constitution has stopped in Port Augusta.

The organisation called Recognise is participating in a Journey to Recognition, which involves travelling to communities around Australia to build support for the cause.

Last Tuesday the group stopped overnight in Port Augusta for a support barbecue and a breakfast of pancakes the next morning.

The group had walked a 700 kilometre relay from Melbourne to Adelaide, which began on the May 26. 

“We’re now driving from Adelaide to Alice Springs” Recognise member Shannan Dodson said at the breakfast last Wednesday morning.

“The journey is to build support to recognise Aboriginal people in the constitution,” she said.

Ms Dodson said it was alarming that there was no acknowledgement in the constitution that anyone was here before 1901, despite indigenous people being the original owners here for tens of thousands of years.

Port Augusta born supporter, Khatija Thomas was also at the Recognise breakfast. 

“I’m here setting an example by throwing my support behind it,” she said. 

“It’s about traveling to different communities and getting everyone to put their full support behind it.”

She believes it will require a “grassroots movement”, as a double majority is needed to achieve a successful referendum. 

“Passing the message at a community level is the being the best way to achieve this,” she said.

Ms Dodson hopes that as the Recognise campaign becomes bigger it will have representatives in each state, as currently the group only has representatives in Adelaide and Canberra.

The Recognise group was surprised with the Port Augusta turnout.

“We didn’t expect that many people to be there,” Ms Dodson said.

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