Back to All Events

Referendum for Social Change 1967 - 2017

  • 189 Marine Terrace Geraldton, Western Australia 6530 (map)

Yamaji Art's exhibition at ACDC in June is a response to the 1967 Referendum 50th Anniversary. The National Archives of Australia document the 27 May 1967 Federal referendum determined "whether two references in the Australian Constitution, which discriminated against Aboriginal people, should be removed.

The sections of the Constitution under scrutiny were:

51. The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to:-
...(xxvi) The people of any race, other than the aboriginal people in any State, for whom it is necessary to make special laws.

127. In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives should not be counted.

The removal of the words ‘… other than the aboriginal people in any State…' in section 51(xxvi) and the whole of section 127 were considered by many to be representative of the prevailing movement for political change within Indigenous affairs. As a result of the political climate, this referendum saw the highest YES vote ever recorded in a Federal referendum, with 90.77 per cent voting for change." (Source National Archives of Australia)

The Yamaji Art exhibition in June explores artists response to the referendum and the 50th anniversary. "1967 saw a silence in Geraldton around the 1967 Referendum, the local mainstream newspaper did not find the event newsworthy, unlike other parts of Australia with the visible groundswell of support for improving in the conditions of Aboriginal people in Australia.

Yamaji Art will continue to silence the silence by exhibiting art works created by local Aboriginal people – these artworks will range from installations, youth artworks, digital image and paintings- 50 years after the Referendum the Aboriginal voice is visible and strong in Geraldton." Charmaine Green, 2017.

Please join us for opening night Wednesday 7th June 5:30pm. The exhibition will run until Sunday 25th June. All enquiries can be forwarded to and/or

Who to contact for enquiries: Yamaji Art 0899653440